Most of the time ants live outside of your home but every once in a while they can work their way into your house or form enormous colonies in your yard. When they form these colonies in your yard, this is a big problem especially if they are the stinging variety. Kids often wander into these ant hills, disturb nests, and wind up getting bit many times over which can be a painful experience.
Fortunately, Modesto Pest is familiar with all of the different ants throughout California, identification, their habitats, mannerisms, and most importantly how to exterminate the ants and keep them away.
Keep reading to learn more about the most common ants in California.
The Argentine ants are actually from South America as you could probably tell by their name. However, over the last years, they have traveled to every continent in the world which makes them one of the worst Invaders. They’re especially common in California where they will wipe out other species of ants and create what’s known as a supercolony of their own. You can identify this ant by its dull brown color, attraction to sweets, and the musty odor they emit when crushed.
The Argentine ants will typically build homes near water so you can commonly spot them near plumbing, sinks, plants, and in gardens. They nest in the ground and can form nests up to 24 feet under the surface. They will seek food sources hundreds of feet from their nest and their colonies can combine to form what’s known as supercolonies. The supercolonies can sometimes be several hundred miles long.
In fact, there is a supercolony that goes from San Francisco to San Diego. Wherever these ants set up homes, they will quickly become the dominant species and reproduce rapidly.
This ant will typically enter your home during the warmer months searching for a more temperate climate and sources of water. To keep them out, it’s important to identify vulnerable points such as improperly sealed windows, under doors, and anywhere else that’s large enough for an ant to squeeze into your home. It’s also important to avoid keeping sweets exposed or left on the counter since these ants do love sugars. Give us a call if you spot this pest anywhere in or around your house.
You’ve almost definitely seen carpenter ants before. They’re one of the most common household ants in California and the United States as a whole.
Carpenter ants are named appropriately because they enjoy nesting in damp wood and carving it out to form a perfect little house. You can identify them by their black or black and red color and size of about a quarter inch long. They’re attracted to sweets, eggs, meat, and the juices of fruit plants.
They like to colonize outdoors near wood like downed trees, firewood, stumps, and fences. If you find them in your home, these are usually what’s known as satellite colonies and they’re often found by windows, doors, in walls, and subfloors.
Pharaoh ants are notoriously difficult to exterminate and control. They were supposedly named Pharaoh ants because they used to plague ancient Egypt. They’re very small and have a yellow or honey-colored body like to nest indoors and forage at night.
They are considered one of the most difficult to exterminate because they are so small and often form colonies in cracks, crevices, furniture, and anywhere else small enough to fit an ant. They colonize quickly and Work together to form larger colonies.
They are especially a nuisance in hospitals where they can pick up and transmit bacteria and disease.
Thief ants are interesting because rather than killing other ants or working together with other ants, they instead form their home near other colonies so they can steal from them. The thief ant loves grease, protein, dead insects, and even dead animals. They are small, yellowish brown colored, and are often found nesting under rocks, in fallen trees, or in walls and cabinets. They can be difficult to get rid of because they are so small so it’s important to have a professional examine your home when they’re found.
California fire ant
Chances are you have encountered the California fire ant at some point in your life. They are called the fire and both because of their color and the fact that it burns like crazy when they bite you. They form their nests in the ground, typically outdoors but in close proximity to food sources. They can enter your home through any crack or crevice small enough for them to squeeze through and can become a nuisance quickly.
You will often see their nests in your yard. They look like little piles of sand with fire red ants crawling all over them. Often times children will stumble into these nests which can be a very painful experience.
The Harvester ant is named such because they will commonly forage through gardens stripping patches and removing seeds which can result in bare spots. they can be an aggressive ant and their sting hurts almost as bad as a bee sting. They are a fire red color and will often form mounds throughout your yard.
Pavement ants are light brown in color and sometimes black with pale legs and antennas. They get their name because they like to form their homes in the pavement and they will feed on almost anything. They prefer greasy foods and form large colonies containing thousands of ants with multiple queens. They forage around 10 yards from their nest and typically form their homes near sources of water.
Pavement ant colonies will fight each other and during summer it’s common to find them battling on sidewalks. When they enter your home, they can form colonies within your walls, behind baseboards, under floors, and within the insulation.
When nesting outdoors, you can find them under rocks, in the pavement, and near your shed. They are not known as an aggressive ant but they do possess the ability to bite.
Odorous house ant
The odorous house
They enjoy feeding on dead insects, plants, seeds, and other fruits. They can form both small and large colonies with multiple queens and become a problem quickly. When they enter your house, they will usually form nests near a source of moisture. You often find them in your walls, plumbing, near water heaters, under toilets, and anywhere else that can provide them with water.
Velvety tree ant
The velvety tree
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