What Kind of Ants do I have?
Ant identification is important if you have an ant infestation.
First of all, how do we know what kind of ants they could be? There are a number of ant species in the United States so we will only discuss some common pest ants in the south.
Identification of ants and termites may be confusing. Ants look different from termites. Ant workers are usually dark colored and have a pinched waist on their body. Termite workers are white in color and do not have a waist. Ants have bend antennae while termites have straight antennae. In fact, most ants will normally be out in the open foraging for food while termites will be hidden in wood and mud tubes.
A pest ant is an ant that may enter your home to feed, cause wood damage or one that can cause you harm. So, how can we tell which ant we are dealing with. Ants can come in different sizes and colors. Ants may be in our homes looking for food or just a nice warm place to live. Consequently, that could become a problem if ants are attracted to your home for any reason. Ants live in colony groups made up of a queen ant, workers and larvae. The workers do the work and protect the colony.
Odorous House Ant
The odorous house ant is about 1/16 – ⅛ inch long and the body is brown to black.. It will normally nest outside but will move indoors to feed. If you crush this ant it will have a odor like rotten coconut or blue cheese. Hence, the name “odorous” ant.
The Argentine ant looks like the odorous house ant but somewhat smaller. This ant will have colony nests indoor and outside the home. They can create very large colonies. If crushed, this ant can have a musty odor.
The Crazy Ant
Crazy ant: This ant isn’t really crazy it just runs around in a erratic way as it forages for food. Most other ants follow each other in a line. The body is 1/16-⅛ inch in length and is dark brown to black with a silvery sheen. Also, the legs and antennae are long in comparison to the body.
Little Black Ants
Little black ants are extremely small and black in color. The body is about 1/16 inch in length. These ants may be called sugar ants by homeowners but will feed on grease, meats, fruits, cornmeal and sweets.
Pharaoh ants are also very small and yellowish-reddish in color. These ants can be a major problem in homes, apartment buildings and medical facilities. Professional pest control companies must use insect baits to control these ants and not apply pesticides. If a chemical pesticide or strong cleaning agent is used they will split their nest and move to other areas making the infestation worse. This behavior is called budding.
Fire Ants in Tennessee
Fire ants have become a major concern in most of the southern states. When a ant colony is created, soil mounds of earth will be piled up in the yard. This is a good indication of a fire ant infestation. These ants can be dangerous because of their painful sting. Due to their nature, if the mound is disturbed, hundreds of ants will emerge to sting the intruder to protect the colony.
Interesting Ant Facts:
- Grits do not kill ants.
- Carpenter ants do not eat wood.
- Fire ants bite to hold on while they sting.
Carpenter Ants in Tennessee
Carpenter ants are some of the largest ants we will see around the house. The workers are different sizes up to ½ inches in length. They can come in different colors ranging from black, red or a combination of black and red. To add, carpenter ants do not consume and use wood for food. Additionally, they excavate the wood to create hollowed out voids to house their nests. Another interesting fact is that they are attracted to moisture and previously damaged wood from termites or rot. Furthermore, if you see very large flying ants (swarming ants) in late spring or early summer you may possibly have a carpenter ant colony near by. These ants may have multiple nests in a wooded area or building.
Pest Solutions & Service in Nashville & Middle Tennessee
Finally, it is usually best to have a professional pest control company inspect your ant infestation. They can determine the best control measure for the species of ant you are dealing with. In addition, they may use baits designed to attract and kill that particular ant species or other control products. Some of these baits may contain boric acid as an active ingredient. Also, outside perimeter treatments may also be used. Carpenter ant control requires finding and treating the colony nest. As a result, contact a pest professional to determine your issues you may be having with pests in or around your home. Contact U.S .Pest Protection today for a free pest inspection! 615-590-1260 or visit uspest.com for more information.
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