With their massive colony size and sophisticated methods of communications, ants could be launching an attack on your business. As one of the most resourceful pests, they can sneak into buildings through the tiniest cracks, and once they find food, they don’t hesitate to share the directions with the rest of their colony (for more on ants’ fascinating behavior, download Orkin’s free reference guide, the Antcyclopedia).
There are more than 700 species of ants in the United States, but some are more common than others. Before you attempt an offensive on the next ant colony you find on your property, you need to know the type of ant, as each species presents unique challenges.
Here are just three of the most common ants:
- Argentine ants – Argentine ants are known for their massive network of interconnected colonies: when a queen leaves to start her own colony, she will stay in the area to maintain ties with the original colony. Argentine ants move swiftly and live under wood, logs, debris and mulch. Medium in size, they are dark brown or black.
- Odorous house ants – Odorous house ants are commonly called stink ants, as they produce a rotten coconut smell when crushed. They move quickly and establish strong trails for other foragers from the colony to follow. Odorous house ants are often confused with Argentine ants because of their similarity in size and color, but odorous house ants have an unevenly shaped thorax (one that isn’t easily noticeable without the help of your pest management provider).
- Pavement Ants – Pavement ants are light brown or black and larger than the Argentine and odorous house ants. They live under stones, along curbs and in the cracks of pavement. These ants also are very territorial and will go head-to-head with another colony for their right to the area.
You’ve got bigger problems than identifying these tiny nuisance pests, and ant species can be difficult to tell apart. If you have ants on your property, work with a pest management professional to help identify them correctly so you can create a plan customized to that ant’s behavior, diet and habitat.
To learn more about these and other common ants – and how to help get rid of them – download Orkin’s free Antcyclopedia: Your Quick Reference Guide to the #1 Pest Problem.