One can find ants in all corners of the globe. In fact, there are tens of thousands of different ant species in the world. Although their ranks are quite large, there are only a few ant species that are considered as home invading pests.
Determining the kinds of ants that are in your home will depend on myriads of factors such as habitat, the specific region you live in, and the appearance of the insects. The body of an ant has either one or two “humps” or nodes on its thorax. The humps help experts in the identification of the species. Furthermore, species vary not just in size, but also in color. There are insects that bite or sting; while others do both.
Signs of Infestations
Ants infest on retaining walls, fences, and buildings, compromising the integrity of wooden structures. Of course, you wouldn’t want your entire family to be at risk while in the comforts of your very home. The very instant that you see an ant in your property, look for the signs of infestation immediately. Here is how you can determine whether your house is infested by ants or not:
- Foragers are present – foragers are worker ants. They are wingless, but they have the responsibility of looking for food for the colony. By the time you see ants carrying small food crumbs, then you’ve got yourself foragers right inside your house.
- Foraging trails are present – you can detect trails by nose as ants release pheromones to communicate with each other.
- Sawdust-like materials are visible – take note: ant tunnels that are in wood are clean. Termite tunnels, on the other hand, are covered with mud.
- Crackling or rustling noises in the wall or ceiling – this is true for a larger, more mature colony.
There are a lot of ways to put a stop to an ant infestation. Among the best things you can do to stop these little insects from destroying your home’s structural foundation is to call a professional exterminator that is capable of giving you the guarantee that your entire property will be ant-free in no time.
The Most Common Ant Species
Scientific Name: Crematogaster
An acrobat ant has two nodes and is 2.5-3 mm long. Its color varies from red-black to black and yellow-brown to dark brown. Acrobat ants nest primarily inside damaged structures that are made of wood. But, they may also nest in your home’s foam panel insulation. These ants are aggressive; they will sting when threatened. Fortunately, they aren’t frequent invaders of residential properties.
By Bernard DUPONT CC BY-SA 2.0
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Scientific Name: Linepithema humile
The worker ants of this species only have one node each. As for their size, they are about 2.2-2.8 mm long. During winter, they nest in various areas but only in shadier areas during the summer season. If stepped on, Argentine ants will emit a damp, musty smell.
By S. Rae from Scotland, UK
[CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Asian Needle Ants
Scientific Name: Pachycondyla chinensis
These ants are 5 mm long and they each have one node. Mostly seen outdoors and in shaded, moist areas, they are less aggressive compared to other types of ants. However, you need to be careful if they invade your home because they will sting if pressed on to your skin or if they get trapped in your clothes. There have been reported cases of humans that got stung which then resulted to anaphylactic shock.
The photographer and www.AntWeb.org
CC BY 4.0
Scientific Name: Camponotus
There are several different variations of this specific species across the country. Carpenter ants are structural pests with an average length of 6-13 mm. Contrary to popular belief, carpenter ants don’t actually feed on wood. Instead, they excavate it to create nests. Homes in woodlands that are infested with carpenter ants experience structural damage because of these pests.
By Richard Bartz, Munich Makro Freak
[CC BY-SA 2.5 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], from Wikimedia Commons
Scientific Name: Paratrechina longicornis
The worker ants of this species have one node and are 2-3 mm long. These ants are nesters that are considered as non-discriminatory, which means they will form colonies in both dry and moist environments. Crazy ants are spread across the country, but they are especially common in the Gulf Coast.
Many other species of ants exist. They’re considered as pests mainly because of their habit of searching for food inside homes. Ants are capable of transmitting disease organisms as they contaminate sterile objects and food. A sting of an ant can be painful and may result to anaphylactic shock
By Judy Gallagher [CC BY 2.0
(https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons