Springtime is here! The warm weather and increased moisture always bring out the ants. We wanted to share some information with you on three types of ants that are common to our area and some tips to help you prevent them.
Odorous ants (AKA Piss ants) get their name from the strong rotten coconut-like smell that they give off when crushed. These ants can be brown or black in color and range in size from 1/16″ to 1/8″ long. These will be the smallest ants that you come across in our area. They are attracted to sweets and are particularly fond of honeydew. Because of their “sweet tooth,” you may also know these ants as “sugar ants.” Inside, odorous ants nest near moisture sources. For example, they can be found near hot water pipes, in heaters, or beneath leaky fixtures. Outdoors, they are often found in exposed soil or under stacks of firewood. Odorous ants do not pose a public health risk, but they can contaminate food. Because of their attraction to moisture, eliminating standing water is a good prevention measure. Keep tree branches and other plants trimmed away from the house. Odorous ants use branches as highways into the home. Make sure there are no cracks or openings around the bottom of the foundation. Ensure firewood is not stacked directly next to the house.
Fire ants get their name from their ability to inflict painful bites and stings. These dark, reddish brown ants are an invasive species. They range in size from 1/8″ to 3/8″ long. Fire ants build large mound nests, which are usually found near structural foundations or in landscaping. They can also gain access into the home through HVAC systems or AC units. Although commonly referred to as a bite, fire ants actually sting. Fire ants typically sting in defense of their nest. Stings are painful and often result in a raised welt that becomes a white pustule. If you are allergic to insect stings, you will most likely react more severely to fire ant “bites.” Prevention includes sealing all internal and external cracks and crevices. Fire ant mounds should be actively avoided.
Harvester ants get their common name from their behavior of collecting or harvesting seeds as their primary food source. Coloration can be orange to red or brownish-black and their size can range from 1/4″ to 1/2″ long. Harvester ant nests are easy to locate by looking for bare soil areas. They have a painful sting and have even been known to kill animals that disturb their nests. They are cause for concern because of their stings and their habit of removing all vegetation from around their nests. Mound surfaces are sometimes covered with small pebbles, charcoal, or fragments of dead vegetation. Harvester ant mounds can be successfully treated with appropriately labeled ant baits. If an infestation is suspected, contact your pest control professional!
Hopefully this helps you identify and possibly rid yourself of pesky ants. We are always here to help with your pest control needs.
Please contact us with questions about any of our services and how we can help you to have a bug free spring/summer season! Don’t forget to Follow us on Instagram and Like us on Facebook.