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Ant Identification Guide

What are ants?

Ants are a type of insect and belong to the order Hymenoptera. Adults have six legs, three body regions, two antennae, and chewing mouthparts; only the reproductive members have wings. Some of the most common species of ants to invade our homes and businesses are carpenter ants, pavement ants, and fire ants. There are more than 10,000 species of ants living throughout the world. Many species live out in nature away from our homes and business, while others, unfortunately, have learned to survive by invading our structures.

red ant crawling up stem of leaf

Ants are social creatures and divide their members and the workload into different groups: males, queens, and workers. The reproductive males and queens are responsible for mating and expanding the colony, while the workers (sterile females) do the majority of the workload for the colony, including foraging for food.

Are ants dangerous?

Many of the species of ants we come across daily are nuisance ants and pavement ants are a good example. While they should never be welcome in our homes because they can spread bacteria and contaminate food, these pose no significant risks to people or our property.

Other species of ants do pose threats to people or our property. The carpenter ant causes structural damage inside homes by tunneling through structural wood to create nesting sites. Fire ants are aggressive and deliver painful bites and stings to people and our pets. They also invade and short circuit electrical and farm equipment.

Why do I have an ant problem?

Easy access to food sources is the biggest lure for ants to a property. Trash, compost, and pet food are common sources of food for ants. You’ll often see ants in long trails foraging for food in our gardens, outdoor eating areas, and kitchens. While out foraging for food, ants move into our homes through spaces they discover under doors, in the foundation, and around windows.

Where will I find ants?

Where ants nest depends on their species. Carpenter ants will make their nests in wood previously damaged by water. Outside they nest in tree stumps, fallen trees, woodpiles, and old fences. In our homes, carpenter ants nest in structural wood located near pipes, behind walls, under floors, and above ceilings.

Fire ants stay away from heavily wooded or other shaded areas, instead preferring to nest in large open areas with plenty of sunlight. Fire ants place their nests in the middle of grassy areas, near foundations, or along fence lines. They also nest in the soil along rivers, ponds, and streams. Fire ants rarely move inside to nest, preferring to live outside.

Pavement ants make their nests in the exposed soil in or next to sidewalks, driveways, and foundations. Their preferred nesting locations put pavement ants close to our homes and businesses. Pavement ants will find their way indoors while looking for food to bring back to their colony. If they decide to stay and build a satellite nest, they usually do so in insulation, behind walls, and inside of masonry walls.

How do I get rid of ants?

An ant infestation is a frustrating pest problem. The easiest way to get rid of ants and other pests is to partner with Pest Pro Pest Control. We provide the effective home pest control and commercial pest control services needed to protect Utah residential and commercial properties from insects, rodents, and other pests.

At Pest Pro Pest Control, we are committed to helping Utah home, and business owners maintain pest-free properties through our guaranteed pest control services. For more information about our ant control treatments, reach out to Pest Pro Pest Control today!

How can I prevent ants in the future?

Keep your Utah home and yard protected from ants with the help of Pest Pro Pest Control and the following prevention tips:

  • Repair any openings in the exterior of your home that may allow ants to move inside.

  • Fix leaking faucets and pipes inside and outside of your home.

  • Cut overgrown grass and other vegetation away from the exterior of your home.

  • Leave a barrier between the foundation of your home and any soil or mulch.

  • Keep tight-fitting or locking lids on outdoor trash cans, recycling bins, and compost bins.

  • Keep outdoor eating areas free of food debris.

  • Inside, vacuum and wipe down counters and tables daily to get rid of spills and crumbs.

 

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