Eight Types of Ants You May See in Your Florida Home
Ants plague many Florida homeowners. First, because unlike other pests who are detoured by human activity, ants thrive in close proximity to humans. Therefore, once ants begin to intrude, it can be difficult to eradicate them. In many cases, professional pest control services are needed to remediate the problem. That’s why ant prevention is key to keeping these incessant insects outside where they belong.
The first step to dealing with any pest control issue is understanding the pest. But what do you need to know about ants? Aren’t all ants the same? Unfortunately, they are not. In fact, more than 700 known ant species are in existence today according to the National Pest Management Association. However, homeowners will likely only encounter a few of those species in their homes.
The Basics About Ants
Each species of ant is different, but they do have some things in common. Their appearance is relatively the same and includes six legs, an exoskeleton, antennae and a thorax. Ant colonies always have a queen for reproduction and workers to bring food to the colony. However, no matter the specific species, ants won’t travel too far from their nest. Spotting a single ant inside your home can be an indication that there is a much larger problem close by.
Types of ants commonly found in Florida:
Carpenter ants: With a name befitting their formidable nest-building abilities, the carpenter ant is well known for tunneling into wood. Carpenter ants are usually black or dark in color. They have a heart-shaped head, rounded thorax profiles and hairs on the end of their abdomen.
When dealing with a carpenter ant infestation, you may discover holes or tunnels on the surface of wooden objects and sawdust-like piles. Carpenter ants are known for excavating wood structures, and building nests inside them. Their damage causes business and homeowners thousands in property damage every year.
Odorous ants: Another aptly named species, odorous ants are known for their smell. These pungent pests smell like rotten fruit when you crush them. Their preferred place to nest is near moisture such as leaky faucets, damp bathrooms, or anywhere moist. In comparison to other ant species, they are quite small. However, their unevenly shaped thorax is a distinct feature if viewing them from the side.
Pavement ants: If you see a line of small ants crawling down concrete, they’re probably pavement ants. These ants have legs that are lighter in color than the rest of their body. Pavement ants will nest in or under cracks in the pavement. Pavement ants can and will eat almost anything and are particularly attracted to crumbs or spills.
Fire ants: Many people think fire ants are red, but they’re more of a coppery brown color. They get the name “fire ants” based on their painful stings. Fire ants are well known for nesting in soil. They typically place nests near structural foundations or in landscaping. They don’t like to be disturbed, so if you touch a nest, expect a quick response. Removing old landscape materials, excess vegetation, and yard debris can be a deterrent for fire ant infestations.
Harvester ants: Harvester ants make their nests in open, grassy areas such as yards and golf courses. They’re less than ½ inch in length and can vary in coloration between red, brown and black. Harvester ants harvest food and bring it back to feed their colonies.
Argentine ants: These brown or black ants are especially difficult to control in your home. They maintain multiple nesting sites, especially in places with lots of moisture like under pots or yard debris. In your home, you may notice Argentine ants walking in a straight line in your kitchens or bathroom.
Pharaoh ants: Pharaoh ants can be especially problematic. In fact, they are resistant to most store-bought pest treatments. Pharaoh ants like oily, fatty foods so look for them in your kitchen or near your grill. They are yellowish or red in color and may bite if they feel threatened.
Ghost ants: Ghost ants love sweets and their teeth are sharp enough to bite through food packaging. If you see these small ants in your kitchen, you’ll know them by their dark head and light-colored body. Look quick though. They’re fast. They can bite if they feel threatened.
4 Ways To Prevent Ants In Florida
Ants can get into your home through the smallest crack or opening. They constantly are looking to feed their colonies, so if they find a food source in your home, they’ll keep coming back for more. Here’s what you can do to prevent these pests.
- Eliminate food sources
- Seal entry points
- Trim trees around your home
- Don’t leave food outdoors
Professional Ant Control In Florida
Despite your best efforts, ants may find their way into your home, especially when the seasons change. Over-the-counter pesticides and baits only kill the ants they come in contact with and do not eliminate the queen or the ants in the nest. For that, you’ll need professional pest control services.
Superior Spray Service offers exceptional pest control with treatments that are safe for your family and the environment. We pride ourselves on customer service and are committed to providing long-term solutions for your pest problems. Call (833) 682-0700 or message us to schedule an inspection today.