Generally, ants have a short life cycle, but some colony members can live from as little as a few days to as long as a few decades. Male ant adults live for only a few days and die after mating with the females. So one of the most important factors affecting lifespan of the females is their status, are they a queen or a worker that occupies the ant colony. Queen ants are the egg-laying members of the colony and may live for many years. Worker ants, the non-reproducing female, do most of the work needed to support and maintain the colony, live for a few days to several months. Other criteria that affect the longevity of ants depend upon a number of factors such as: species, location, predators, availability of food and available shelter. For an example, odorous indoor house ant workers live up to three years, while a fire ant worker only lives for about five weeks. The life span of workers is greatly affected by the availability of quality food, if food sources become scarce; the workers are the last to eat.