Fri 28 Aug 2015
Ants are probably one of the most common and well-known insects in the South and beyond, and are found on every continent except Antarctica. Because of their ubiquitous nature, people will often generalize ants into a single type of insect without any thought to the many different types of ants actually out there.
While this generalization works in most cases, it’s important to distinguish between different types of ants when you’re trying to prevent them from infesting your home. Each different type of ant has a specific set of qualities about their diet, preferred habitat, and behaviors that make dealing with each of them a unique challenge.
At Sugarland, we get lots of questions about ants from our customers, so we put together an overview of several of the most common types of ants in Louisiana and how they can be dealt with to prevent an infestation.
So-called “crazy ants” get their name from their erratic movement patterns and swarming populations. Crazy ants are pretty new to the Southern states, having just arrived in parts of Texas, Louisiana, and Florida.
They are one of the most aggressive species of ants in their swarming and colonial behaviors, and they are usually some of the first ants to invade homes, businesses, and other structures.
In addition to their unique way of moving, crazy ants can be identified by their light brown coloration. They are herbivores, and prefer sweet fruits if they can get it (honeydew is a favorite!)
One thing that makes crazy ants especially unique and irritating to deal with is that they like to nest in electronics because of the warmth. An estimated $146.5 million dollars is lost every year because of the millions of ants electrocuted by wiring that they are nesting in.
Fire ants are perhaps the most well-known sub-species of ant, particularly in South Louisiana. Easily identified by their red coloration, aggressive behavior, and painful bite, fire ants are some of the most tenacious pests out there, and especially irritating to deal with because of their militant nature in defense of their colonies and the painfulness of their bites.
While most people only experience discomfort from these bites, some are actually allergic to the venom that causes the irritation that the bites are famous for, and exposure to too many fire ant bites can be very dangerous.
Red imported fire ants
Red imported fire ants are another new species in the southern states. They’re an invasive non-native species of ant from Brazil, where they adapted to be like normal fire ants, but bigger, meaner, and with nasty stingers for delivering their famously-painful venom.
They can easily be distinguished from normal fire ants by their paler red-yellow coloration, their larger size, and their tendency to be even more aggressive. Like fire ants, some people are allergic to their stings, which can cause potentially lethal anaphylactic shock.
These are by far the most common type of ants, and they’re also the sort of ant that most people think about. Carpenter ants are fairly large, black, and are typically found in walls, woodsheds, and so forth.
They are dangerous to structures in the same way as termites, although they destroy structures slower because they burrow into moist wood to make tunnels that they live in, rather than actually eating the wood like termites do.
Another very common type of ant, pavement ants are the tiny brown ants you see living in piles of dirt that are mounded around the cracks in pavement. Although they are typically quite docile compared to other types of ants, they can still find their ways into homes.
They have a particular love for very sweet, sugary food (such as ice cream or candy) and many of our pest-control services can get them to move out of a house by exploiting this.
Odorous house ants
Although not as dangerous as fire ants, odorous house ants are irritating for their own reasons – they spread very quickly, and they release a potent and very nasty odor when they are smashed.
Queens of different odorous house ant colonies will actually co-operate and share their resources, which can cause populations of this kind of ant to explode. Because of the care that has to be taken to avoid stinking up a house while removing this ant, it is often an involved and lengthy process.
Fortunately, our skilled professionals in pest control at Sugarland can help you prevent and treat these various types of ant infestations. We’ve been helping rid homes of ants for years, and we’ve got all kinds of tips and tricks to keep them from coming back! Call us today for your free estimate, and reclaim your domain from the ants!