Ask any of our pest control experts and they will all agree that the number one household pest is the ant. No matter the season, ants are always unwanted house guests as they can enter your home through the tiniest of cracks. Once they’ve made their way to their target, they feed on and contaminate human foods, infest structures by nesting in wall crevices, and build mounds in lawns and landscapes. Furthermore, these unwanted pests can be especially active in the summer months!
Did you know? Ants communicate mostly through chemicals, which they sense with their antennae. Ants release pheromones with precise messages, such as “Hey, follow me to the food!” As soon as another ant moves along the trail, they, also, add their own pheromones in order to keep the trail active for their other ant buddies. Quick Tip: in order to deter ants from following scent trails, make certain that your countertops and floors are consistently kept clean.
With that all being said, experts have defined over 12,000 ant species – yikes! However, in this blog post, we will just be discussing five of the most common ant species that like to call your house their home. Keep reading if you’re antsy to learn more!
A typical fire ant colony produces large mounds in almost any type of soil, often near moist areas, such as rivers, pond shores, and watered lawns. Usually, their nests will not be visible, as they build under objects such as timber, logs, or rocks. Fire Ants are reddish brown in color, 1 mm to 2 mm long, and they have a painful sting – but don’t use the latter as a method of identification!
Pharaoh ants enter homes to take advantage of crumbs, spills, and moisture. For instance, grease stains, dead insects, and sweet drinks really attract their attention! A pharaoh ant is rust-colored, 2 mm long; and even though ants can lift 10-50 times their weight, this little guy can’t quite lift a nemes crown – despite its name of royalty! These pests typically make their way indoors through torn window screens, and poorly sealed doors. Plus, once they make their way inside, they like to make nests indoors – inside of wall cavities and/or refrigerator insulation, for instance.
These ants live up to their name as they like to wander! Moisture attracts these insects, so they may show up near swimming pools or overwatered gardens as they live in mulch and leaf litter. Though, because they can survive in various habitats, they may move indoors into your bathrooms and kitchens during hot, dry summer months. So, keep an eye out! Rover ants vary in color from pale yellow to blackish-brown and are small, about 2.5 mm long.
Ranging from black to dark brown, acrobat ants are 3 mm long and prefer to nest in moist or rotted wood. Colonies are often found in tree holes, dead limbs, stumps and logs. While most infestations originate from outdoor nests, if there is moist or rotted wood inside your home because of water leaks, these ants will try to find their way inside! If these ants are in your home, their nests can typically be found around door frames and skylights.
Crazy ants earned their name because of their frantic and erratic movement. They can be identified by their being black in color, 3 mm long, and having long legs. They are highly adaptable, living in both moist and dry habitats. While outdoors, crazy ants often nest in wood, tree holes, and mulch. On the other hand, while indoors, these ant’s nests are often in wall cavities or underneath items in storage. This is important to know because crazy ants cannot survive cold climates and therefore, when the weather drops, they may infest your house while in search of safety!
Each species of ants has its own biology and characteristic behaviors; that, plus the fact that there are numerous motives as to why ants persist in their attempts to find their way inside of your home, you should seek professional help before an ant problem worsens. Our pest control professionals here at Trad’s Pest Control can identify which species of ant has infested your home and recommend the most appropriate treatment for helping remove them from your property.