Ants are social insects that are found living all throughout the United States. Depending on their exact species, these ants will vary in appearance, behavior, food preferences, and habitat. All species of ants, however, have three distinct body regions: head, thorax, and abdomen.
Some of the most common species of ants living throughout our area are:
Acrobat ants Acrobat ants received their name from a unique behavior they display. When disturbed, they will raise their heart-shaped abdomens over their heads and thoraxes. Acrobat ants vary in color from light brown to black.
Carpenter ants These large ants are most commonly black, although some can be red, yellow, or even a combination of those colors. As their name suggests, these ants build tunnels and nests inside of wood.
Fire ants Fire ants are are dark brown in color; they are small in size, but big in attitude. These ants are easily agitated and tend to attack anything or anyone they view as a threat to their nest. Fire ants rarely nest indoors.
Little black ants As their names describes, these ants are little and black, although some tend to be more of a dark brown color. Their small size allows them to easily find their way into homes and other buildings while out foraging for food.
Odorous house ants Odorous house ants are small in size and are generally brown to black in color. They are typically identified by the foul odor they emit when crushed, usually likened to that of a rotting coconut.
Pharaoh ants These ants are light tan to red and are tiny in size; adults only grow to about 1/16 of an inch long. Pharaoh ants prefer to nest indoors and are rarely found living outside.
These ants are very aggressive towards predators and they are larger in size than fire ants. They can overtake fire ant colonies as well as small animals like birds and snakes. They will eliminate any species in their territory in order to control an area. These species are also known to have a bad reputation of damaging electrical and computer equipment and can severely damage your car. It’s estimated that every year, crazy ants cause more than $146 million in electrical damage. They’ve also caused many problems on industrial sites and inside homes.
Are ants dangerous?
Most species of ants that invade our homes such as acrobat ants, little black ants, and odorous house ants are considered nuisance pests and are not harmful. In contrast, many species of ants such as carpenter ants, fire ants, and Pharaoh ants are more than just a nuisance and pose a potential danger to you or your property. Carpenter ants cause costly structural damage, fire ants deliver painful stings that can trigger severe allergic reactions, and Pharaoh ants carry and spread a variety of dangerous diseases.
Why do I have an ant problem?
If you are experiencing a problem with ants in your home or business, it’s because your property is providing a suitable environment for them to live, feed, and nest. Ants are highly attracted to food sources and nesting sites, and things such as compost bins, decaying wood, garden areas, open trash cans, and pet food will all attract ants initially. Once they begin foraging for food on your property or in your home, these pests will most likely create nesting sites near their newfound sources of food.
Where will I find ants?
Outdoors, ants build their nests along the perimeter of foundations, along sidewalks, in driveways, in tree stumps, in woodpiles, under fallen trees, or underground. Inside, ants nest in hard-to-reach areas that are near food sources. Common nesting sites are above ceilings, behind large appliances, behind walls, in crawlspaces, inside insulation, near heating systems, or under floorboards; carpenter ant nests are typically found inside of the structural wood of your home or commercial property.
How do I get rid of ants?
The best way to eliminate ants from your property is to partner with a local pest control expert.We are committed to providing each of our customers with superior pest control services to meet their individual needs. Our experienced and knowledgeable technicians always perform the most advanced, effective services.
How can I prevent ants in the future?
The following tips can help you to protect your home or business from becoming overrun with ants:
Seal any openings in the foundation, exterior walls, and along the roofline of your home or business.
Regularly wash dishes, vacuum floors, wipe down counters and tables, and take out the trash.
Cut bushes, shrubs, and tree branches away from the exterior of your home or business.
Collect any fallen fruits and vegetables in garden areas.
Pick up leftover pet food between feedings.
Store any food in the refrigerator or in air-tight containers.
Keep tight-fitting or locking lids on outdoor trash cans and compost bins.
Leave a barrier of stone or rock between mulch, soil, or grass and the foundation of your home or business.
Use dehumidifiers, fix leaky pipes, and maintain downspouts and gutters to reduce moisture levels on your property.