Everything you need to know about the ants in Tennessee
Ants are one of the biggest problems we deal with at All-American Pest Control. They are frustrating pests that get into everything, and there is no quick fix to get rid of ants. Effective control requires a complete elimination of nests through the use of baits. And those baits won't work unless we know which ants we're targeting. Proper ant identification is vital. Here are the ants we see most in our Tennessee service area, and a few important facts that can help you better understand what ants you're dealing with.
Little Black Ants
The name says it all; these are little black ants. Workers average in length between 1 and 2 millimeters, and they are a shiny black color. Ants of this species have 2 nodes between the thorax and abdomen. Little black ants may be little, but they are no "little" problem when they get into a home. Though these are tiny creatures, they can come in great numbers.
What's in a name? A lot; if you're talking about acrobat ants. While these ants don't do somersaults or back handsprings, they have the ability to lift their abdomen over their head, which is quite unique. They are light brown to black in color and workers only grow to be between 2.5 and 4 millimeters. You might confuse these ants for little black ants if their coloring is black because acrobat ants also have 2 nodes between their thorax and abdomen. Look to the abdomen for help in identification. Acrobat ants have an abdomen that has a valentine heart shape, which has lead some to call these valentine ants.
Argentine ants are mostly found in the southeastern United States, but populations can be found here in Tennessee, especially in Knoxville. They are light to dark brown in color with a single node between their thorax and abdomen. Workers of this species are usually a little over 3 millimeters.
Imported Fire Ants
These biting pests are red to dark red in color. They range in size from 3 to 5 millimeters and have 2 nodes between their thorax and abdomen. Of all the ant pests that will plague you on your Tennessee property, these are the worst. The sting from an imported fire ant can leave painful, itchy welts with an associated pustule.
Odorous House Ants
While not the only ant that has an odor when it is squished, an odorous house ant has a distinct odor that some describe as rotten coconuts. Since this is an ant that likes to come inside, this odor can become a problem. Beside squishing one of these ants, you can tell them apart visually. They are dark brown to black with a beehive-shaped abdomen and 1 flat, hidden node between its thorax and abdomen. Workers grow to be around 3 millimeters.
This species of ant is widely considered one of the most difficult ant pests to exterminate, and since they are linked to the spread of salmonella and other harmful diseases, it is important to properly identify these ants. Workers of this species are only around 1.5 millimeters long, making this one of the smallest ants you'll find in your home. They have a yellow to orange coloring with an abdomen that is capped with a darker brown. Pharaoh ants are another ant that has 2 nodes.
These ants are the largest ants you're going to find in your Tennessee home. Carpenter ant workers can be as much as 13 millimeters. That is pretty big. So, you should mistake them for little black ants. The carpenter ants we see most are black with a single, pointed node between their thorax and abdomen. While they have carpenter in their name, these ants aren't looking to do some home improvements. They are destructive pests that tunnel galleries in wood.
Are you seeing ants in your Tennessee home?
If you're seeing ants in your Tennessee home, call us before you spray. Some ant colonies have multiple queens. Not only does this allow them to build their populations fast, these colonies are susceptible to "budding," a process where a colony splits in response to a perceived threat. This often happens when insecticides are used to kill ants on contact to arrest an ant issue quickly. The best approach, by far, is to use baiting techniques to address an ant issue.
At All-American, our educated professionals know how to effectively exterminate ants. Let us help you fix your problem completely, at the source. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, reach out to us today.
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