Do you know that there are over 20,000 species of ant on the planet? That is quite a variety! Fortunately, only about 1,000 species exist in the United States and, of those, there are only about 8 that are considered to be common household pests in Tennessee. Most make themselves a nuisance when they get into our homes. Some spread harmful bacteria when they get into our food or crawl around in our kitchens. Some do damage to wood as they create galleries for their nests. Here are the 8 species of ant your most likely to see in your Nashville home and what you need to know about them.
ANTS THAT CONTAMINATE FOOD
Little Black Ants
As you might imagine, these ants are entirely black. They're also little. A worker ant of this species is only about 1 mm in length. These are little ants but they invade in large numbers. This can make them very frustrating to deal with.
These are light to dark brown colored ants with a single node between the thorax and abdomen—that is the waist of the ant. It is quite small at just over 3 millimeters in length. This ant species is mostly a nuisance pest because it can have extreme colony sizes, like little black ants.
These ants, which are also called sugar ants, come in through foundation walls and feed on sugary things. They are dark brown to blackish in color and you might mistake them for little black ants. Look close. You'll see the brown tint. While these ants have the ability to sting, they are very docile and rarely do. They are mostly a food-contaminating pest.
ANTS THAT SPREAD DISEASES
These ants are dark brown and about 1.5 mm in length. While other ants can be a threat to the spread of illness, these ants are considered a disease threat. This is because they are drawn to feed on the open wounds of livestock and domesticated animals.
ANTS THAT CAUSE AN ODOR
Odorous House Ants
These ants are dark brown to black and about 3 millimeters in length. Once again, you might think these are little black ants. But you won't if you step on one. Odorous house ants get their name because they emit a foul odor when crushed. Some describe it as smelling like rotting coconuts.
ANTS THAT STING
Not much needs to be said about these red ants. They sting and leave painful welts on the skin. They can be dangerous to people who have an allergic reaction. It is best to not have these ants around.
These ants are light brown to black and they can be between 2.5 and 4 millimeters in length. This is another ant you might confuse with little black ants. The noteworthy difference is that these ants can bend at the waist and bring their abdomens up over their heads. While they are known to sting, they don't have a powerful venom like fire ants. This ant species is mostly known for chewing the insulation off wiring and causing short circuits and are considered a fire hazard.
ANTS THAT DAMAGE WOOD
Last, but certainly not least, is the humble carpenter ant. Once again, you might mistake these ants for little black ants but at nearly 13 millimeters in length, they are far from little. When black carpenter ants get into your home, they can do damage to the wood of your home, over time. They attack rotting wood or old wood first, but they often move on to sound timbers within a home.
Are you having trouble with ants in Nashville? Call the Nashville pest control experts. At All-American Pest Control, we work hard to keep track of which ants are causing trouble in our service area. We can help you get the relief you're looking for and protect your property from damage. Reach out to us today for immediate assistance.