Ant Identification Guide

What are ants?

One of the most common pests to invade our homes and businesses, ants belong to the order Hymen­optera and are close relatives of bees and wasps. Ants have a constricted waist, three distinct body regions, straight antennae, and the reproductive members having wings.

a carpenter ant crawling outside

Listed below are four species of ants that have made a name for themselves and commonly invade Arkansas properties:

Odorous House Ants

As their name suggests, you can identify these small black by the foul odor they emit after being crushed.

Carpenter Ants

They are one of the largest species of ants living in North America. They create their nests inside of pieces of water-damaged or decaying wood.

Little Black Ants

As their name describes, these ants are small and black. Their small size allows them to invade our homes in large numbers.

Pharaoh Ants

These ants are tiny in size, but live together in vast colonies. When disturbed, they will “bud” and a queen and some workers will leave the colony to set another colony in a new location. They are very difficult to control.

Are ants dangerous?

There is no question that ants are annoying, but they can also be dangerous depending on their species. The carpenter ant poses a danger to our homes and businesses. They cause damage while nesting inside structural wood. The pharaoh ant is responsible for spreading harmful diseases like salmonella and streptococcus that make people ill. Also, these ants are a major concern in hospitals because they seek moisture from patients’ eyes, mouths, wounds, and IV bags.

While most of the ants we come across are nuisance ants, even they cause some problems. Ants spread bacteria throughout our homes, contaminate our food, and cause added stress because they are tough to control and eliminate.

Why do I have an ant problem?

Ants live outside all around us. These insects are omnivores and therefore have a varied diet. They live together in large colonies and are in constant search of food to feed their members. Ants will take advantage of any food source they find. Our yards often provide a variety of things where they can forage for food — trash cans, compost, pet food, gardens, and outdoor eating areas.

Once wandering around your property, it is easy for these ants to find their way into your home through any small cracks or crevice they find. Inside they will continue to forage for food, moving back and forth from their outdoor nest to your home each day. Sometimes, they will decide to cut their travel time short and build a satellite nest right inside of your home. Their multiple indoor and outdoor nests are one of the biggest reasons ants are so hard to control.

Where will I find ants?

Ants build their nests in a variety of locations. Most species have a central nesting site that is outdoors in the soil or under pieces of wood. Unfortunately, our lawns and gardens often make excellent nesting sites for ants.

Inside of our homes and businesses, ants most often nest in areas that provide them with moisture. They build their nests under the floor or behind walls in areas near pipes, sinks, tubs, or appliances. Carpenter ants nest in structural wood, preferring wood that has been previously damaged by water. Some other species of ants will nest inside of electrical equipment or other machinery.

How do I get rid of ants?

Alder Pest Control will help you to get rid of ants from your Arkansas property. We will work closely with you to not only meet your pest control needs but to exceed them. We provide the comprehensive services necessary to eradicate pests and prevent them from returning.

If you are ready to get rid of pests from your home or business, our professionals are happy to help! We will work with you to put the services in place needed to maintain a pest-free property. For more information about our ant control services, reach out to us today!

How can I prevent ants in the future?

The easiest way to protect your property from ants is to partner with Alder Pest Control. It is also helpful to put the following tips into place to help prevent problems with ants both inside and outside of your home:

  • Reduce moisture levels in and around your home by fixing leaky pipes and using dehumidifiers and ventilating fans. Make sure gutters are working and preventing rainwater from pooling around your home’s foundation.
  • If any wood inside of your home ever becomes damaged by water, immediately remove and replace it.
  • Regularly inspect the exterior of your home and seal any openings you find in the exterior walls or foundations.
  • Make sure that screens in windows and doors are free of rips or holes.
  • Keep hungry ants from using your yard as their feeding grounds by keeping tight-fitting lids on trash cans and recycling bins. Keep outdoor eating areas free of leftover food, and pick up pet food when your pet finishes eating.
  • Inside of your home, eliminate food sources by vacuuming floors, wiping counters to get rid of spills and crumbs, and wash your dishes regularly.
 

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