War Zone

This article entitled “War Zone” Talks about the biology of Argentine Ants and their ‘supercolonies’ that spread and often engage in large battles with each other and other species. This book hypothesizes that every Argentine Ant is merely an extension of an original colony back in Argentina. These original colonies have spread via humans to be found around the world. Here in California we have 4 Argentine colonies, the largest spreading from the Mexican border to San Francisco and referred to as the “Very Large Colony.” The “Very Large Colony” is thought to be at least hundreds of millions strong.
The 4 colonies here in California have exterminated most native ant species and engage in constant battles with each other along their borders in which millions of ants die each month. These battles however never extend to ants from the same home colony, even if the ants are separated for a period of time or by great distances. In fact, the Argentine Supercolony in New Zealand is related to the “Very Large Colony” here in California, which ‘controls’ most of California’s ports.
Argentine Ant colonies are very territorial and aggressive. If a male from one colony enters the area of another colony it will be killed quickly. Argentine Ants are completely “intolerant of outsiders” as this behavior easily shows. Argentine Ants spread by marching ants into new areas and setting up satellites from the ‘mother colony.’ This slow creep by these ants will slowly overtake a whole neighborhood if left unchecked. This is why ants are really a neighborhood problem.
All of this information is very important to how we develop our plans for treating and controlling Argentine Ants. Since these ants are not localized to one or two homes but are part of larger supercolonies, we have to continue a long term service plan. We realize that these ants will continue to re-infest a property from neighboring lots. Feel free to read the article to learn more about these aggressive and unrelenting ants.
War zone
An invasive ant defies the rules of social evolution by conquering California with battles between enormous colonies that act like separate species
By Mark W. Moffett
[Published 21st May 2010 02:13 PM GMT]

Adventures Among Ants: A Global Safari with a Cast of Trillions might be mistaken as a photographic or adventure book, but it tells many stories from the front lines of animal behavior. For example, one of the most ecologically damaging and yet fascinating ants is the Argentine ant, which resembles humans in being a natural born conqueror. A native of floodplains in northern Argentina, the Argentine ant has invaded subtropical habitats worldwide because of its proclivity for stowing aboard ships. In California, Argentine ants have been out battling, out eating, and out reproducing native ants since the species first arrived a century ago.

Read more:
War zone - The Scientist - Magazine of the Life Sciences