Ants in Florida

Florida Ants

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:

    • Pharaoh Ants

pharaoh ant illustration
Learn More about Pharaoh Ants

    • Argentine Ants

argentine ant illustration
Learn More about Argentine Ants

    • Ghost Ants

ghost ant illustration
Learn More about Ghost Ants

    • Carpenter Ants

carpenter ant illustration
Learn More about Carpenter Ants

    • Red Imported Fire Ants

fire ant image
Learn More about Red Imported Fire Ants

    • Tawny Crazy Ants

crazy ant image
Learn More about Tawny Crazy Ants

    • Thief Ants

thief ant image
Learn More about Thief Ants

    • Acrobat Ants

acrobat ant illustration
Learn More about Acrobat Ants

    • White-Footed Ants

Learn More about White-Footed Ants

    • Pyramid Ants

Learn More about Pyramid Ants

    • Rover Ants

Learn More about Rover Ants

    • Big-Headed Ants

Learn More about Big-Headed Ants

Problems

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:

      • House-infesting ants
      • Yard-infesting ants
      • Carpenter ants

Florida Ant Reproduction

Ants establish new colonies by two primary methods: swarming and budding.

Swarming:

      • Most common method of reproduction.
      • Males and females leave the nest during spring, usually a few days after rainfall.

Budding:

      • 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.

Diet

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.