If you haven't noticed, ants are everywhere this time of year. They are in our yards and on our walkways. They are crawling on our decks. They are scaling the walls and windows of our homes. Everywhere. And, if we aren't careful, they will be crawling around everywhere inside our homes as well. The following is a list of common ants in our area as well as some strategies for keeping them out.
These ants are called acrobat ants because they have the unique ability to lift their abdomens over their heads. Light brown to black in color, workers only grow to between 2.5 and 4 mm in length and have 2 nodes between the thorax and abdomen. Since they have an abdomen that is shaped like a heart, they are also called "Valentine" ants. Usually found in decaying wood around a home, these ants do minimal damage and rarely come inside.
Mostly found in the southeastern United States, these ants are light to dark brown in color, measure a little more than 3 mm in length and have a single node between their thorax and abdomen. Colonies of these ants are often described as "massive." So they can become a big nuisance when they get inside and invade food storage areas.
These ants are tiny and may have gotten their name in reference to one of the Biblical plagues in Egypt. Measuring a mere 1/16th of an inch, Pharaoh ants are commonly found in establishments such as hospitals, nursing homes, restaurants, apartment buildings, and also in residential structures.
As one of the most difficult species of ant to control, these ants have been known to transmit Staphylococcus and Pseudomonas in hospital settings. They are also a concern when they get into food storage areas since they are capable of spreading more than 12 infectious organisms. When they infest electronic equipment, they can cause malfunctions.
Odorous House Ants
These ants get their name because, when they are squished, they emit a foul odor that can be compared to that of rotten coconuts. They are dark brown to black in color and measure around 3 mm in length. They have a beehive-shaped abdomen and 1, flat, hidden node between the thorax and abdomen.
Little Black Ants
Little black ants get their name because they're little, and black…And they're ants. Measuring around 1 to 2 mm in length, they are a shiny black color and they have 2 nodes between the thorax and abdomen. These ants may be little, but they are no little problem when they come into homes in great numbers.
Carpenter ants do NOT get their name because they build or fix things. They get their name because they "work" with wood, specifically, they carve out tunnels and galleries inside the wooden structures of homes and businesses. Carpenter ants can grow to be around 5/8 of an inch in length and are usually black. If left unchecked, these ants can cause significant damage to wooden structures over time.
Fire ants were named for two reasons. They are reddish in color, like fire. But they also administer stings that can cause a painful, "burning" sensation. They can measure anywhere from 1/8 to 3/8 of an inch in length, can be reddish, red-brown, red-black or an orangy rust color, and have 2 nodes between the thorax and abdomen. Fire ants can be especially dangerous to people who are unable to get away from a swarm, people such as infants, the elderly, and the infirm.
Elimination And Prevention Tips
If you are seeing lots of ants outside your Tennessee home or, worse, inside your Tennessee home, the best course of action to take is to partner with a professional pest control company to spray your perimeter to keep additional ants from entering and also eliminating food and water sources inside your home. In the case of carpenter ants, it is vital to have a pest control company eliminate their populations completely before they can do significant damage.
To prevent ants from coming near your home and entering your home, try the following steps:
Remove food sources from your yard, if possible.
Put exterior trash in sealed cans.
Fix leaky spigots and hoses and loosen compacted ground where rainwater can pool.
Do a detailed inspection of your home and seal up all gaps, cracks, and holes in your foundation and outer walls.
Check and replace or repair any missing or damaged screens, weather stripping or door sweeps.
Partner with a professional pest control company for year-round pest control service.
If you need assistance with eliminating ants from your Tennessee property, reach out to Russell's Pest Control today.
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