There are many different types of Ants found in the United States. All have three body parts, three sets of legs and a round abdomen. Ants vary in color from yellow to reddish-brown to black and also range in size, up to ½ inch long.
Ants live in colonies that can grow to hundreds or thousands of members. While the colonies typically start outside, many species will invade indoors, attracted by sweets, starches, greases, and plant and animal materials. Heavy rainfall, prolonged droughts, or seasonal weather variations can also drive Ants indoors. You’ll often see them crawling in lines along baseboards, cupboards and countertops, scouting for food.
Damage From Ants
Ants can be a nuisance both inside and outside by contaminating food, but depending on the species, they may also inflict painful stings (Fire Ants), damage wood structures (Carpenter Ants) and harm plants.
How to Control Ants
Controlling Ants usually takes a combination of approaches including chemical barriers around the outside of the home, indoor sprays, mound treatments and baits. Some Ants form a mutually-beneficial relationship with certain garden insect pests, such as Aphids, Scales and Whiteflies, which secrete a sugary, sticky substance known as honeydew. These Ants feed on the honeydew and in return protect the pests from beneficial insects. The honeydew can also be infected with a black fungus called sooty mold.
Where Ants Are Found Geographically
Throughout the United States. Species vary by location.
Related or Similar Pests
- Keep your home, yard and garden clean: keep indoor areas sanitary and food-free, take trash out regularly.
- Seal cracks found around doors and windows.
- Store food and pet food in sealed containers. Clean-up after feeding pets.