How Long Does An Ant Colony Last?

How Long Does An Ant Colony Last?

The life cycle of ant colony is usually the same across different nests. The main determinant of the years an ant colony will last is the lifespan of its queen ant. When a queen ant dies and stop breeding, there will be no new worker ants to replace the older ones. Thus, the ant colony will quickly die. However, some ant colonies are considered immortal. This is due to the existence of multiple queens in the colony. So long as there is one fertile ant queen in the nest, then the colony will be sustained for years. Call our ant control Oakville services for immediate assistance.

Now, queens typically live for years. The longest recorded year a queen ant lived was 29 years. However, there are some who only live for 5-7 years such as fire ants. Regardless of the lifespan of the queen, the life cycle of an ant colony is composed of three (3) steps, although again, slight variations in length might occur according to the type of ant.

The first stage is the Founding Stage. In this, worker ants are born to the colony, providing nutrition, moist, and heat. Worker ants are born through the queen, who just performed a nuptial flight with male ants. The nuptial flight is where matings of the ants occur. In this process, the queen will attract male ants in order to collect sperm. This will then be used by the queen to breed throughout her entire year lifespan. Once the queen has enough sperm to last a lifetime, she will now start a colony. Alone, the queen will seal herself and live alone in the dark for many days. When she finally lay her first eggs, she will get the required nutrition from her broken wings until such time that the born ants are strong enough to work and provide nutrition for the queen. 

Another way of founding a colony is practiced by polygene species (having more than one queen). Through their way, queen ants don’t leave the colony where they are born. Instead, after being inseminated, she will return to the colony and start expanding it. 

The second stage is the Ergonormic Stage. In this, the queen ant transitions from being the leader in the colony to being dependent to the children. Ant queens are not supposed to rule the colony, instead, they are the ones who keeps the colony alive by breeding. Without the queen, there will be no workers. So as long as the queen breeds and the workers keep on sustaining the queen, the colony will expand and expand until it reach the next stage. 

The last stage is the Reproductive Stage. Depending on the type of ants, once the colony reached its optimal size, excess resources are put to good use – reproduction. In this stage, the workers begin to work in order to create new queens and males, more commonly termed as the “winged ants”. When these winged ants fly out of their nests, they will perform the nuptial flight in the first stage of the cycle. After the performance, males will die while the queen will be left to found another colony. 


Antkeepers. (n.d.). The lIfecyle of an Ant Colony. In Ant Keepers Website. Retrieved from

Admin. (2017). The lifespan and lifecycle of an Ant Colony. In Beginner Info in the And Farming Blueprint Website. Retrieved from