How to Identify & Remove Ants
How Did I Get Ants?
Ants are scavengers. They can enter homes and businesses through any cracks in the foundation, around doors, and around windows. Leaving any food left out and dirty dishes can also invite ants to enter your home. Once ants gets inside homes, they will be able to make a nest inside walls and you will have an infestation.
Size: 1/8 inch
Color: Dark brown to blackish
Pavements ants are one of the commonly found ants in the U.S. Outdoors, these ants can nest under slabs, stones, patios, driveways, and pavement cracks. Inside homes or places of business, the nest can be found within walls, inside insulations, and under floors. The colony can average 3,000-4,000 ants and multiple queens. Pavement ants can enter homes if there are cracks or holes in the foundation, cracks around doors, cracks around windows or concrete slabs. Once these ants enter homes, the ants will carry piles of soil to start forming a nests. Piles of soil can be found around and under baseboards and basements.
Pavement ants eat a variety of food such as greasy foods, meats, a honeydew, seeds, nuts, cheese, bread, sweets, sugary foods and live or dead insects. Any food left open can cause the ants to come back to the food source by leaving a foraging trail. These ants are not aggressive and doesn't cause a threat to human health, but the ants will crawl all on the food and will sting to defend themselves. Pavements ants are just one of many species of ants that invade our indoor living space.
Size: Workers are 1/2 inch. Queens are about 1/2 inch - 5/8 inch
Color: Red, black or a combination
Carpenter Ants are wood destroying insects. Unlike termites that eat wood, carpenter ants excavate wood and leave sawdust like particles on the floor or ground. This is why these ants are named carpenter ants. These ants don't sting, but will bite. Carpenter ants will cause wood damage inside homes and place of business when they excavate through support beams, floor joists, ceiling joist, roof rafters and wall studs, resulting in thousands of dollars in repairs. Carpenter ants enter homes and businesses through unsealed cracks in the foundation, small openings around doors and windows. Carpenter ants feed on honeydew, other insects, sweets, meats, and grease.
Carpenter ants build their nest in tree stumps, firewood, landscaping and other wood sources. The nest can be found in damp, decaying wood caused by leaks or mold. The colony consists of workers, queens, and swarmers. The workers forage for food, the queens lay eggs, and swarmers start a colony and become queens. The queens lay 9-16 eggs and can live for about 25 years. A mature colony contains 10,000-20,000 workers. There are two types of colonies in a nest: parent colony and satellite colony. The parent, or main colony, contains the queen, her eggs, and her workers. The satellite colonies contains only workers, mature larvae and pupae. The purpose of satellite colonies is to branch out from the main colony when there is limited space in the nest. Satellite colonies can be found indoors and outdoors.
Carpenter Ant Damage
Size: 1/8 inch
Color: Brown or black
Habits and Habitat
Odorous ants are another commonly found ants that can invade residential homes. Unlike other ants, odorous ants, when stepped on, leave off a strong rotten coconut like smell. These ants are mainly found outside such as under lumber, bricks, firewood, and exposed soil but can invade homes in search for food. They can enter homes through any cracks around doors, windows, or on foundation walls. Once inside, the ants will make a nest in wall voids but preferably build a nest near warm and moist areas such as around water pipes, heaters, and crevices around sinks. Odorous ants feed on live and dead insects, honeydew, mealybugs, meats, sugary foods, pastries, etc. When alarmed, these ants run around in an erratic manner with their abdomen raised up.
Odorous ant can make more than one colony. Each colony contains multiple queens and several hundred worker odorous ants. The queens will produce thousands of worker and winged ants. Once the colony gets to big, a queen and a worked will leave the current colony to start a new colony. Swarmer odorous ants will emerge in May to mid July. Odorous ants go through a complete metamorphosis(egg, larvae and adult). The development time from egg to adult is 34-83 days. The temperature during summer and winter months can have an affect on the development time. Odorous ants do not pose a threat to humans, but they will contaminate food that they are able to get to.
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