Types of Ants

There are 12,000 different types of ants worldwide. There are only 40 species that inhabit the United States and only a handful of ants that cause major problems for homeowners. The most well known ants are probably the Black Pavement Ant and the Fire Ant but there are a few more less known that actually cause more headache and damage such as the Carpenter Ant and Odorous House Ant.

Because of the wide variations in feeding and other habits of the different species, the successful management requires exact identification to control them. The most common household pests can be identified by examining the actual worker insect itself. Firstly, ants will have either one or two segments separating their head from their abdomen. If you can get close enough to see the head connected to its abdomen to see the segments then you might be able to see the next determining factor. Secondly, the hairs on the butt of the ant and the number of spines will tell you if its a Carpenter Ant (has small circle of erect hairs), Fire ant (doesn’t have hair on its butt, has no spine and has a club antenna) or a Little Black Pavement Ant (no hair on butt, no spine and black).

Other determining factors when identifying usually require a microscope but if you have a Crazy Ant on your hands you’ll be able to tell because their antennae are way larger than their head, hence making them look CrAzy. The Odorous House Ant is one of the few that has hair on its butt, but you can also not look that closely and just smash it.  If it smells like rotten coconut, then its an Odorous House Ant.

If you don’t want to squish your ants and smell them or look closely at their butts, then just call us and we will be happy to come out and do a free inspection and identify the issues.

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