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Pest Control: Ants

Large Ant on white background

Pavement Ants

Tetramorium caespitum

Pavement ants are typically found out doors, but can move indoors as well. Colonies can grow large with over 4,000 workers and several queens, meaning that pavement ants can become a major nuisance. They are not aggressive and bites do not pose a serious health risk. If you suspect an infestation, contact a pest management professional.

Identification:

Color:
Dark brown or black

Shape:
Segmented and oval body

Size:
Up to ⅛ inch long

Food:
Will eat nearly anything including meats, grease, other insects, honeydew, and much more

Habitat:
Will nest in areas under stones, pavement, and cement. They are also found indoors in walls, under floors, and other areas with voids

Region:
Eastern half of U.S. and west coast

Other Identifying Features:

Prevention:

Odorous House Ants

Tapinoma sessile

Odorous house ants are one of the most common types of ant found in the U.S. They are named for the odor that they give when crushed. These ants are not harmful, but may contaminate food. If you suspect an infestation, contact a pest management professional.

Identification:

Color:
Brown to Black

Shape:
Segmented and oval body

Size:
Up to ⅛ inch long

Food:
Prefer honeydew and other sugary substances

Habitat:
Live both indoors and outdoors near places with good moisture sources

Region:
Found throughout the U.S.

Other Identifying Features:

Prevention:

Argentine Ants

Linepithema humile

Argentine ants live in colonies that can have populations of hundreds of thousands. They will move indoors if conditions outside become too wet or dry. While they do not pose any health risks, they can contaminate food. If you suspect an infestation, contact a pest management professional.

Identification:

Color:
Light to dark brown

Shape:
Segmented and oval body

Size:
Up to ¼ inch long

Food:
Omnivorous with a preference for sweets

Habitat:
Wet environments near a food source; will build nests under stones, boards, and along sidewalks

Region:
Southern U.S., California and Hawaii

Other Identifying Features:

Prevention:

Carpenter Ants

Camponotus species

Carpenter ants build nests inside wood sources like stumps, firewood, and structural parts constructed from wood. Colonies can grow to more than 10,000 workers meaning that property damage caused by these ants can be massive. If you suspect an infestation, contact a pest management professional immediately.

Identification:

Color:
Black, red, or a combination of the two

Shape:
Segmented and oval body

Size:
¼ – ¾ inch long

Food:
Primarily dead insects and honeydew

Habitat:
Typically build nests in wood that is or has been wet

Region:
Most prominent in northern parts of U.S.

Other Identifying Features:

Prevention:

Crazy Ants

Paratrechina longicornis (Latreille)

These ants get their name due to their tendency to run around erratically instead of in a straight line. They are often introduced into new areas through shipping, so their presence is widespread. Though they do not pose health risks, crazy ants can become a nuisance as they will get into food in homes and restaurants. If you suspect an infestation, contact a pest management professional.

Identification:

Color:
Dark brown to grayish black

Shape:
Segmented body with long legs and antennae

Size:
Up to ⅛ inch long

Food:
Omnivorous- will feed on insects, seeds, honeydew and much more. Tend to have a preference for proteins in summer months. Will adapt to both dry and wet

Habitat:
Prefer warm climates, but will survive indoors in cold regions. Crazy ants nest in rotten wood, trash, and soil underneath yard features. Will also live in mulch beds and soil of potted plants.

Region:
Found throughout U.S.

Other Identifying Features:

Prevention:

Red Imported Fire Ants

Solenopsis invicta

Red Imported Fire Ants (RIFA) have are notorious for their ability to inflict painful bites that often turn into pustules. When nests are disturbed, a single ant can release a pheromone that triggers the entire colony to attack. They are aggressive and can be especially harmful to people with allergies. If you suspect a RIFA colony, contact a pest management professional immediately.

Identification:

Color:
Dark reddish-brown

Shape:
Segmented and oval body

Size:
Up to ¼ inch long

Food:
Primarily other small invertebrates, as well as carrion and sugar

Habitat:
Soil; often found near structures and in landscaping. Can survive in both wet and dry regions.

Region:
Originally from Brazil, these ants are found in Southeastern U.S., as well as California and New Mexico

Other Identifying Features:

Prevention:

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