Ant Control 101: Identify Types of Ants in Houses

Ants are some of the household pests that you find yourself trying to eradicate all year long. They come in all shapes sizes, colours and characteristics. There are over 12,000 documented ant species and you can find up to a hundred species in one location. It is important to determine what ants are attacking your home and the damage that they can do. Besides, once you see a few around home, it could be a sign that hundreds are lurking around the corner and you need to contact Excel Pest Services as soon as possible.

Here are some identifying characteristics:

Carpenter Ants

As the name suggests, carpenter ants are usually interested in your wood, whether furniture, ceilings, or truss. They can tunnel through any wood and cause massive damage in the process. This is why you need to call pest control services as soon as you see them. The primary aim is not to eat the wood but excavate it for building nests. Most of the time, these ants nest outdoors in lumber and trees. They can also invade any wood item or roofs near water.

They like woodland areas that are somehow moist. The size of a carpenter ant is about five-eighths of an inch and has a reddish-black body. However, you may find variations of these characteristics with some stinging when disturbed.

Fire Ants

Fire ants are usually reddish-brown and found in the southern parts of the country. They like to build mounds outside, especially near a building or a landscaped area. However, they may get in the house via openings or cracks on the wall. They are aggressive and attack when disturbed. In fact, the name’ fire’ comes from their painful sting, which causes an allergic reaction to some people and raised welts in others. They come in large numbers. Therefore, if you find a few around your home, act quickly.

Pharaoh Ants

Pharaoh ants are one-sixteenth of an inch in length and have a pale upper with varying colours from red to yellow. Their abdomens are usually dark. These ants feed on everything around the home, including shoe cream and toothpaste. They also spread rather fast and become difficult to eradicate. In addition to the destruction, these ants are known to spread dangerous pathogens that include Salmonella typhi, Staphyloccocus, Clostridium, Pseudomonas and Strep bacteria.

Odorous Ants

Just as the name suggests, these ants give a pungent odour that smells like rotten coconuts when you squish them. These stink ants are usually dark brown, but there are variations of black. Their sizes range an eight to three sixteenth of an inch. They are found in hot, humid and cool areas and like nesting in damp, dark locations outdoors. You get them into the house via cracks in the foundation or openings such as doors and windows. They scavenge for any food, especially meats and sweets. While they do not damage your house or pose a health risk, they can contaminate your food.

Argentine Ants

Argentine ants are common in wet environments near sources of food. They usually nest in shady areas during summer. You can also find them in insulations or wall openings. They have a dark brown colour. Their length ranges from a sixteenth to a fourth of an inch. You will not get a sting from them. However, they may contaminate your stored food.

Ghost Ants

Ghost ants are mostly tropical pests that love to live in warm parts of the country. They are quite tiny and pale, which makes it hard to spot them. In very cold places, you will only find them in heated spaces such as greenhouses and houses. While they do not sting, ghost ants are such a nuisance ay home. They also give out a rotten smell when crushed.

Tawny Crazy Ants

Tawny crazy ants are black to brown ants with a grey sheen. They also have long legs and antennae. They can nest in any location indoors and outdoors, such as under flowerpots, soil, and rocks. Unlike other ants, they do not move in a line when searching for food but in a crazy jerky movement. They also have large colonies and can damage electrical devices when they swam them in high numbers and cause electrical shocks.