Western Ant Invaders

Of the 2500 different ant species about 250 will reside in the Western U.S. Among the large variety of ants to be found in the Western United States, there are three species of ants that commonly invade, causing homeowners major headaches. These ants include the Odorous House Ant, the Carpenter Ant and the Pharaoh Ant.

Here’s what you need to know about these three common ants: 

What does an Odorous House Ant look like and what do they eat? 

The Odorous House Ant will be a dark brown or a shiny black color, and will be 1/16 to 1/8 –inch long. The Odorous House Ant will eat just about kind of sweet tasting foods like, fruits, grains, natural sugars, and milk.

What does the Odorous House Ant do? 

When the Odorous House Ant is crushed it will leave a very strong odor behind. Inside a Odorous Ant colony there can be found about 10,000 work ants. During the day they will be found in long trails looking for food. These trails can be found inside the home crawling over and under many different surfaces. Indoors they will build their nests in wall voids, under insulation, in crawl spaces, and within cavities in wood. Outdoors the Odorous House Ant will make a shallow soil nests under any material on the ground, and within hollow trees.

Upclose_Carpeter_AntWhat does the Carpenter Ant look like and what do they eat? 

The Carpenter ant can be a variety of colors, but most are tan to black color. Some can be reddish or orange. Carpenter ants are usually ¼ inch to ½ inch long with the queen being about ¾ of an inch long.  Carpenter ants will eat a range of different foods like plant juices, honeydew produced by aphids, and other insects.

What does the Carpenter Ant do with its time during the day? 

The colony of a Carpenter ant can house up to 100,000 workers.  Carpenter ants can be found within buried or partially buried moist wood such as dead trees, rotting logs, and stumps. Carpenter ants found by the home will be around the porch, pool decks, and any other structures that are made of wood and touch the soil.  During the day they will keep in contact with other Carpenter ants, and will be looking for food. 

What does the Pharaoh Ant look like and what do they eat? 

The Pharaoh ant is a very tiny ant; it will only be about 1/16 of an inch long.  Their body is a light reddish orange color, with black on the abdomen. Pharaoh ants will eat a variety of sweet food like honey, shortening, peanut butter, corn syrup, and fruit juices.

English: Compared size of a pharaoh ant

What does the Pharaoh Ant do? 

The Pharaoh ant, though very tiny, is a very big problem.  Once the colony is in the structure of the home they can grow in number to the hundreds of thousands. Worker Pharaoh Ants will forage for food much further than any ant. They will travel hundreds of feet from the colony and find their way back using trails, recognized by pheromones left behind by other Pharaoh ants.

How to get rid of these ants? 

Most ants can be killed using baits. The ant will take the bait back to the colony and kill the whole colony. Place the bait in an area where the ants are leaving a trail. With a major ant problem, it would be best to call a professional. A professional will be able to see the whole problem, and have more than baits to take care of your problem.

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