SPRING SUNSHINE SENDS ANTS SEARCHING INDOORS
Rose Pest Solutions reveals common ant species that are more than just a nuisance
When spring arrives, ants often become a nuisance for homeowners as they move indoors in search of food. And, with more than 700 species in the United States, Rose Pest Solutions says it’s likely most people will encounter this pest during the warmer months.
“As the temperature continues to rise across the country, homeowners might start to find tiny ants crawling around throughout the home,” said Jeff Beallis, Branch Manager at Rose Pest Solutions Lombard and President of GCPMA. “This pest can be a nuisance, but most people don’t realize that certain ant species also pose health and property risks depending on geography."
Carpenter ants are wood destroying insects and can cause massive structural damage.
Ants to watch out for this season
The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) encourages homeowners to be on the lookout for the following ant species this spring:
Argentine Ants: Colonies of Argentine ants are found throughout the southeastern parts of the U.S. and California, but they're also very common in Illinois. They live usually in wet environments near a food source. They prefer sweets like fruit juices and plant secretions. Workers follow trails and their colonies can get as large as several thousand workers with many queens (some of which may have wings). Argentine ants do not pose a health threat, but they can contaminate food and give off a musty odor when crushed.
Carpenter Ants: This aggressive species of ant is found nationwide, especially in the northern region. Carpenter ants attack wood and can cause severe property damage, which is usually not covered by homeowners' insurance. They appear black, or sometime reddish brown with a little tuft of hair on the tip of their abdomen. Carpenter ants are typically the really big black ants you see just after it rains crawling across your driveway. They're capable of creating multiple satellite colonies in addition to a larger main nest.
If you've ever wondered Can Ants Chew Through Wood? then this species is your answer. The carpenter ant has powerful mandibles. Unlike the termite, they don't eat wood, but they chew through it to create colony chambers and tunnels, sort of like highways to be able to bring their queen food easily. These ants prefer rotting, soft, wet wood and will leave sawdust particles behind after tunneling through wood, called frass.
Odorous House Ants: This species is found in every region of the U.S. and commonly nests in basements, crawl spaces and adjacent structures. They've been known to develop super colonies with many queens where there is a steady supply of food and water. They form trails when foraging for food. The odorous house ant thrives near water pipes, sinks, and cupboards indoors and in soil and under rocks outdoors. Odorous house ants do not pose a health risk, but they give off a strong, rotten coconut-like smell when crushed.
Pavement Ants: These black ants are found throughout the eastern portion of the U.S., and in California and Washington. They get their name from making nests in or under cracks in pavement. These are typically what people call kitchen ants or sugar ants. Pavement ants can contaminate food and should be avoided. They enter buildings when weather becomes extreme by following pipes through slabs. Normally, pavement ants nest in soil under stones, slabs, next to buildings and in pavement cracks. I'm sure you've seen ant mound in sidewalks like the picture below. That's caused by these guys!
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