Ants are amongst the most common of household and garden pest. These insects can burrow into all kinds of spaces, make their way indoors, and breed extraordinarily quickly. Handling an ant problem by yourself can be difficult. Here, we’re going to outline some of the differences between the most common species of ants and what you can do about them.
There are thousands of species of ants, each with their own unique characteristics. However, here we are going to look at the most common ants that infest homes in Western Washington.
Common species of ants
- Moisture ants: These ants are most commonly around 4 to 4½ mm long and brownish to a reddish in color. They live in moist environments and are primarily attracted to wood or other materials that are damaged or decayed by water, meaning they are a high risk if there are leaks in the home. Moisture ants are relatively harmless and destroy wood like termites.
- Pavement ants: This species is smaller, between 2½ and 3 mm long. They are brown or black, usually with lighter legs and antennae. They thrive beneath and beside sidewalks, patios, and driveways where they hunt for food. These ants often find their way into homes through cracks in foundations and walls, where they hunt for crumbs, open food containers, and trash.
- Odorous house ants: As the name suggests, these ants are easy to identify by their smell alone, which is similar to rotten fruit (coconut in particular). This smell is given off when their bodies are crushed. It is their natural defence against predators. They are between 2½ and 3½ mm in length with dark brown or black bodies with a slightly uneven thorax. These ants often create homes in crawl spaces and inside walls. Typically close kitchen cupboards and open food containers. They are one of the most persistent ants in Western Washington.
- Carpenter ants: Lastly, carpenter ants can range in size, between 3 to 13 mm long. They are usually black but might have a red or yellow tint to them. They are most commonly identified by their large mandibles. These mandibles can be used to cause painful bites when provoked. Carpenter ants will also cause serious damage to your home. Over a long period of time, these ants will weaken the structure and leave visible evidence throughout the home.
Out of the ants mentioned, odorous ants are the most common, but if you spot any of the signs of infestation of any kind, you should act on it as soon as possible.
How to deal with your ant pest problem
There are a variety of methods you can use to prevent ant infestations in the home. You can prevent their entry by denying them the kind of home they want. For instance, moisture ants won’t make a home in your house if there is no water decayed wood. You should also ensure that there are no open trash or food containers in the home, denying them a food source. However, the best way to deal with them is to contact AB Pest Control. They can determine which ants you are dealing with, use an ongoing plan of assessment and treatment to ensure that they are entirely controlled.