The study of ants can rapidly become one of the more interesting projects to embark upon. One will quickly find that the ant is a very social type insect with habits and behavior patterns very similar to humanity. Their social skills prompt them to form highly organized cities or colonies, some of which consist of millions of in habitants. The ant is a tenacious worker and is capable of lifting 20 times its own body weight.
There are roughly 12, 000 varieties of ants throughout the world, most of which reside in hot climates. However, there are only about 1000 different ants within the United States. In many cases, one has to enlist the knowledge of a pest management professional for proper identification. Nevertheless, common ants can be more easily identified. The ability to familiarize oneself with these common ants is important. Proper identification will assist in methods of management control as well as determining whether the ant in your home is a nuisance ant or a destructive ant.
Some of the more common types of ants that is likely to show up in your Nashville home or on your property include carpenter ants, odorous house ants, little black ants and red fire ants.
Carpenter ants are undoubtedly a nuisance but far more concerning is their destructive tactics. Unlike the termite, the carpenter ant doesn’t eat wood. However, they build their nests inside wooden structures, removing more than enough wood to weaken the wooden components of buildings. Their continual tunneling through the wood can cause significant damage to your home. The carpenter ant is quite large, measuring an average of 5/8 inch in length. The color is usually black but can also appear as a dark red or mahogany color.
Odorous house ants can certainly be labeled a nuisance. This species of ant gets its name from an offensive coconut-like smell when crushed. They also prefer to nest inside homes, creating colonies of 100,000 members. The odorous ant is small, measuring 1/16 to 1/8 inch.
Little black ants live in Nashville and throughout Tennessee and though their moniker seems more descriptive, this is actually their name. With a tendency to forage for food along sidewalks and foundations, this type of ant is not considered dangerous but is certainly a nuisance pest. They’ll consume practically anything the come across including other insects and often make their way indoors in search of a meal. What’s more, they make start nesting inside if there’s access to food and water.
Red fire ants are the most aggressive, delivering a painful sting. They are adaptable to most climates and conditions and build their nests in mounds of soil outdoors. This ant, while not the same level of destruction as the carpenter ant, can uproot or damage plant roots in your landscaping and their bite can be threatening to people with allergic reactions to insect stings. This ant is 1/8 to 3/8 inch and dark reddish brown.
The best method of prevention of all ants is to simply remove all food and water sources and seal off points of entry into the home. Eliminate standing water around your home and keep food in sealed, pest-proof containers. Clean any crumbs or spills up thoroughly as even a tiny piece of sticky candy can attract hundreds of ants. Seal any cracks in your foundation and around windows or doors, reducing the risk of ant invasions.
If you've found that ants are already marching into your Nashville home, give All-American Pest Control a call. Serving Nashville and Middle Tennessee, our team of pest control experts are ready to help you get rid of ants!