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There are more than 700 ant species found in the U.S., although only about 25 species commonly infest homes. Ants are social insects that typically live in underground colonies, made up of workers and a queen. Ants will eat practically any kind of food, but are especially attracted to sweets. Ant identification is relatively simple due to their three distinct body regions: head, thorax and abdomen, as well as antennae. Despite similar construction, ants vary in overall appearance. Small or large ants and brown or black ants are common nicknames for different species.
MOST COMMON ANTS IN FLORIDA
Scientific Name: Camponotus
These large, nocturnal ants use their mandibles to chew through wood to build nests inside. They prefer dead, damp wood for their nests, making the vulnerable areas around and under your windows, decks, roof eaves, and porches likely to be infested by carpenter ants.
Scientific Name: Tapinoma melanocephalum
Tiny ants with a dark head and translucent legs and gasters, ghost ants are found in large numbers in Florida and other tropical areas and are a typical nuisance to greenhouse owners. They are highly adaptable to nesting habitats and are found both indoors and outdoors. Ghost ants are commonly found in wall voids, cabinetry, baseboards, and potted plants in homes.
Scientific Name: Solenopsis
Small, aggressive ants, they will repeatedly sting any intruding human or animal. Fire ants thrive in warm temperatures and avoid dark areas, and they commonly build nests in the ground with visible mounds. The diet of the fire ant consists of animals and vegetables, and they will even consume dead animals. It is important to treat the entire yard to control fire ants.
What Attracts Ants?
Ants are known for loving sugary, sweet substances. While they prefer sweets, they will eat almost anything edible, from fruits to vegetables to meat. They need water to survive, which can also be an attractant.
Nuisance or Threat?
Ants are usually harmless to the health of humans, but fire ants can bite and sting if disturbed. The stings are painful, almost like a burn, and some people may need to seek medical attention if an allergic reaction occurs. Carpenter ants, though not a health threat, are capable of causing extensive damage to structures if not treated.
How Do I Get Rid Of Ants?
FL Termite & Pest Experts use an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach to getting rid of ants. Our expert pest control technicians will inspect your property to find what species are infesting, where the ants are active, and where their nests are located. Once we’ve evaluated the ant problems, we’ll determine the most efficient method of ant control. Next, we’ll eliminate the colony of ants and, if you choose one of our home pest control plans, we’ll perform ongoing maintenance to ensure the colonies don’t restart while keeping new ants from entering your home.
Call us today to schedule an appointment with one of our pest experts. 813.922.8475