Argentine Ants

Linepithema humile
Color: Dark brown to black; shiny
Legs: 6
Shape: Segmented; oval
Size: 1/16-1/4
Antennae: True
Region:

Argentine ant colonies can grow to monumental size. Their colony borders sometimes cover entire habitats. Argentine ant queens also assist with foraging for food. The ant gives off a musty odor when crushed. Worker argentine ants are about one sixteenth of an inch long. Queen argentine ants are one eighth of an inch to one quarter of an inch long.

Habits
Argentine ants deposit trails continuously, instead of just from nest to food source. This habit ensures they do not waste time visiting the same area for food. They prefer to eat sweets but they will eat almost anything including meats, eggs, oils and fats.

Habitat
Argentine ant colonies are located in wet environments near a food source.

Threats
Argentine ants do not pose a health threat, but they can contaminate food.

Prevention:
Eliminate standing water. Pests, such as Argentine ants are attracted to moisture. Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house. Sometimes pests use these branches to get into your home. Make sure that there are no cracks or little openings around the bottom of your house. Sometimes pests use these to get into your home. Make sure that firewood and building materials are not stored next to your home. Pests like to build nests in stacks of wood.

 

Carpenter Ants

Camponotus species
Color: Varies depending on species, from red to black or a combination. The two most common species are black.
Legs: 6
Shape: Segmented; oval
Size: 5/8"
Antennae: True
Region:

Carpenter ants get their name because they excavate wood in order to build their nests. Their excavation results in smooth tunnels inside the wood. Carpenter ants range in size from one-quarter inch for a worker ant to up to three-quarters inch for a queen.

Habits
All species mainly attack wood that is or has been wet and damaged by mold. Even though these ants first invade wet, decayed wood, they may soon begin building paths through dry, undamaged wood. They usually come into buildings through cracks around doors, windows, or through holes for wires. They will also crawl along overhead wires, shrubs, or tree limbs that touch the building far above the ground.

Habitat
Carpenter ants build their nests outdoors in various wood sources, including tree stumps, firewood or landscaping. They need a constant water source to survive. They will enter homes through wet, damaged wood.

Threats
Carpenter ants damage wood through their nest building. If they gain entry to a structure, they pose a property threat.

Prevention:
Because carpenter ants require a water source, eliminate sources of moisture or standing water. Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house. Sometimes pests use these branches to get into your home. Make sure that there are no cracks or little openings around the bottom of your house. Sometimes pests use these to get into your home. Make sure that firewood and building materials are not stored next to your home. Pests like to build nests in stacks of wood.

 

Odorous House Ants

Tapinoma sessile
Color: Brown or black
Legs: 6
Shape: Segmented; oval
Size: 1/16-1/8
Antennae: True
Region:

This ant gets its name from the strong, rotten coconut-like smell it gives off when crushed. These tiny insects range in size from one-sixteenth of an inch to one-eighth of an inch long.

Habits
Odorous house ants like to eat sweets, especially melon.

Habitat
Typically living for several years, these ants make their homes in exposed soil and wall cracks.

Threats
These ants do not pose a public health risk, but they can contaminate food and should be avoided.

Prevention:
Eliminate standing water. Pests such as odorous house ants are attracted to moisture. Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house. Sometimes pests use these branches to get into your home. Make sure that there are no cracks or little openings around the bottom of your house. Sometimes pests use these to get into your home. Make sure that firewood and building materials are not stored next to your home. Pests like to build nests in stacks of wood.

 

Pavement Ants

Tetramorium caespitum
Color: Dark brown to blackish
Legs: 6
Shape: Segmented; oval
Size: 1/8"
Antennae: True
Region:

Pavement ants get their name because they make their nests in or under cracks in pavement. They can infest structures.

Habits
These ants will eat almost anything, including insects, seeds, honeydew, honey, bread, meats, nuts and cheese.

Habitat
These ants live in or under pavement cracks.

Threats
These ants do not pose a public health risk, but they can contaminate food and should be avoided.

Prevention:
Eliminate standing water. Pests, such as ants, are attracted to moisture. Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house. Sometimes pests use these branches to get into your home. Make sure that there are no cracks or little openings around your house. Sometimes pests use these to get into your home. Make sure that firewood and building materials are not stored next to your home. Pests like to build nests in stacks of wood.

 

Red Imported Fire Ants

Solenopsis invicta
Color: Dark reddish brown
Legs: 6
Shape: Segmented; oval
Size: 1/8-3/8
Antennae: True
Region:

Red imported fire ants nest in soil and build mound nests. They can infest garages.

Habits
These ants will build large mound nests, and will sting humans who come across a nest.

Habitat
Red imported fire ants will build their nest mounds outdoors in landscape areas or near a structural foundation. The ant will gain entry to a building through holes or cracks.

Threats
The sting of a red imported fire ant is painful and often results in a raised welt that becomes a white pustule. Often, a person stung by a red imported fire ant receives multiple painful stings from more than one of the ants. Persons allergic to insect stings will react more severely.

Prevention:
Red imported fire ants and their telltale mound nests should be actively avoided. To prevent entry into a structure, seal all internal and external cracks and crevices.