Ants in Florida
There is a large number of ant species that call Florida their home. However, residents of the state are fortunate since most of them don't bother homeowners or business owners. Therefore, we will only focus on species that are the most likely to become pests or bite and sting. The most commonly encountered pest ants are:
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type: embedded-entry-inline id: 5IJ2ZvMz6gFcj7U3GEfMr0Learn More about Argentine Ants
type: embedded-entry-inline id: 7uPW7pkGCwe8grRfR7MjFcLearn More about Ghost Ants
type: embedded-entry-inline id: 1yvi3Po9lEptOGj3W7hvajLearn More about Carpenter Ants
Red Imported Fire Ants
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Tawny Crazy Ants
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type: embedded-entry-inline id: 4OPFyKpHdj6JZMnRSwwYxhLearn More about Thief Ants
type: embedded-entry-inline id: 4XOVx8ny1F9X4AmDT8a6gwLearn More about Acrobat Ants
Ants become problems around buildings and homes in many different ways. They can:
Feed upon and contaminate food
Invade and infest buildings by constructing nests in wall voids or under structures
Build colonies and ant mounds in lawns and gardens
Inflict painful, venomous bites and stings
Build nests inside structural wood
In general, the most common ants can be grouped as:
Florida Ant Reproduction
Ants establish new colonies by two primary methods: swarming and budding.
Most common method of reproduction.
Males and females leave the nest during spring, usually a few days after rainfall.
One or more queens leave the nest to begin a new colony.
Ants that reproduce by budding are the most challenging to control.
Ghost ants, pharaoh ants & Argentine ants are the most common ants that reproduce by budding.
The pests' food preferences are quite variable but typically include sweets, honeydew from plants, seeds, oily substances, and insects.
Identify Ant Swarmers in FL
Ants and termite swarmers are often confused with each other. However, it's easy to tell the difference because:
1. Ant swarmers have L-shaped or “elbowed” antennae, while termite antennae are straight
2. Ant swarmers have narrow, constricted portions of their bodies called thread waists, while termites have broad waists without any constriction.
3. The hind pair of wings are smaller than the front pair for ant swarmers, while both pairs of wings are about the same size on termite swarmers.
However, the best advice is to check with your pest management professional if you are not sure whether the specimen is a termite or ant swarmer.
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