Ants are one of the most common and infuriating pests we encounter. Beyond just the summer picnic, ants can easily find their way into our homes at all times of year, including the quickly approaching Fall. As the outdoor barbecues transition to indoor casseroles and Thanksgiving, here’s how you can identify the different ants that may enter your home.
Fire ants are almost universally loathed for their painful stings. While most people know them for their red color, in reality fire ants show red and brown, red and black, and sometimes even completely black coloration. You may have fire ants if the mound is near a tree or sidewalk, if it’s in a sunny area, and if there’s no visible center opening. Fire ants are also very fast compared to many other species, so keep an eye on them as you open and close doors and windows.
As their name suggests, carpenter ants thrive on wood. Often found in tree stumps and wood piles, carpenter ants are also attracted to wood in your home damaged by moisture due to a leaky faucet or outside exposure. You know it’s carpenter ants if they leave behind sawdust and other insect body parts. While they still bite, carpenter ants can not sting.
The crazy ant is so named for its erratic, unpredictable behavior. Originating in South America, crazy ants are usually limited to coastal states like Alabama and Florida. They have slender dark brown-black bodies and very long legs. While their bites are generally harmless to humans, they emit formic acid strong enough to prove deadly to other small critters. The acid even helps them neutralize fire ant venom, proving them worthy opponents to the painful pest.
Ghost ants are characterized by their dark front half and pale legs and abdomen. They prefer moister environments, leading them to colonize beneath fallen tree branches and even potted plants. However, they also build colonies indoors, including behind baseboards, in wall voids and in low cabinets. Ghost ants have a strong attraction to honeydew and eat dead insects and sweet foods. You’ll find them in the kitchen and anywhere else sweets abound.
Ants can very quickly become a huge nuisance and problem. If you’re having any ant problems, contact EnSec Pest & Lawn today.