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How Long Do Ants Live?

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How long do ants live?

Ants are one of the most ubiquitous insects around. From our kitchens and gardens to backyards, these tiny pests can often be seen everywhere from kitchen cabinets and gardens to backyards. Many individuals may not realize the lifespans for various ant species can differ drastically; therefore this post will explore lifespans specifically related to various species of ants for this topic.

Lifespan of an ant can vary significantly based upon species and role within a colony, although life expectancies for workers, queens and males generally fall into three distinct groups with their lifespan determined by how important each is in helping survive and reproduce within it.


At the core of every colony lies its queen. As its oldest member, she plays an essential role in laying eggs and maintaining population levels, living up to 30+ years if possible in some species – her longevity being paramount in maintaining continuity and growth over time.


Typically female ants who do not reproduce themselves, are responsible for gathering food, caring for queen ant offspring, and building the nest. Queen ants tend to live longer than workers; worker ant lifespan varies widely depending on species as well as environmental influences such as activity level or stress.


Ant colony males (or drones as they’re often known) live only briefly before dying off – typically within weeks after mating season has come and gone. Because males do not take part in colony activities like nest maintenance or foraging activities such as nest maintenance and foraging activities like nest maintenance and foraging they experience this short lifespan that coincides with mating season.

Ants’ lifespans depend heavily on their specific tasks within a colony. Queens often outlive workers; workers only live long enough to fulfill their responsibilities and provide for the colony; male ants generally only live long enough for reproduction purposes. Ants’ survival strategy doesn’t focus on longevity alone but on orchestrating roles within complex social structures effectively.

Carpenter Ants

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Carpenter ants can cause substantial damage to wood structures by excavating it for nests. Workers of carpenter ant colonies live for many years under ideal conditions while queens may reach 10 or even 11 year lifespans!

Pavement Ants

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Worker pavement ants living in cracks or beneath rocks in pavement have an expected maximum lifespan of five years, while queens may survive and reproduce continuously for decades to come.

Odorous House Ants

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When crushed these ants emit an offensive coconut-like smell; workers of these colonies usually only live several months to one year while queens could live up to several years or even decades!

Field Ants

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Field ants form their colonies by building massive mounds in the soil, with queen ants living up to five years before passing away.

Thief Ants

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Thief Ants got their name due to their habit of taking food away from other colonies and eating it themselves. Workers typically only live a short while; queens can last several years longer.

Pharaoh Ants

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The Pharaoh Ant is an especially harmful indoor pest. Worker ants typically live 4-12 months before turning into queens who may live up to several years.

Cornfield Ants

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These insects can often be found in gardens and fields. Queens and workers of these species can live up to two years after mating with each other.

Harvester Ants

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Harvester Ants, also referred to as seed harvesting ants, are well known for gathering seeds as their main food source and usually live between 2-6 months with queens living up to 20-year lifespans.

Argentine Ants

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These aggressive insects form massive colonies that are both invading and highly productive, lasting as long as ten years in some instances. Workers usually live up to 12 months while queens could potentially last much longer.

Fire Ants

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Fire ants can be very aggressive creatures with painful stingers. Their workers typically live only 5 months while queens may last 6 years while continuing to spread colonies through reproduction and colony growth.

Velvety tree ants

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Velvety tree ants may be found living in trees’ hollow limbs or beneath rocks; queens and workers of these colonies may last three years before dying off.

Ant Control Experts

At Candor Pest Control, our expertise and deep understanding of ant behavior and life cycles distinguishes us as industry leaders for effective ant control. Understanding various species lifespans helps us devise tailored plans to manage and eliminate infestations quickly.

Our knowledge of ant biology allows us to implement sustainable pest management strategies. These plans combine baits, barriers and direct treatments tailored specifically for each ant species found at each infestation site to achieve long-term control while decreasing chances of reinfestation.

We pride ourselves on educating our clients about ant behavior and lifespans to better prepare them against infestation. With such knowledge comes service excellence which allows us to be your reliable partner in maintaining an ant-free environment. Whether a sudden invasion occurs unexpectedly, or persistent problems emerge over time; our team has all of the expertise required to quickly solve it efficiently and effectively.