Ant infestation is the most commonly reported pest problem. These tiny scavengers will enter your home or business looking for moisture and an accessible food source. Rotting or damp wood that is moldy can attract ants. Ants also feed on sugar, cheese, meats, vegetables, grease, peanut butter, and dead insects. Ants often enter a home through cracks around windows or doors, but they can find numerous entrances to your home or building. Once inside, the growing ant colony can become a problem quickly, as ants mature from juveniles to adults within a matter of days.
It is necessary to properly identify the ant species that you have in order to effectively eradicate them. Of the thousands of species of ants, the four listed below are the most commonly found in the United States.
Carpenter Ants: are about five eighths inches long. They tend to burrow in damp wood but have also been known to damage solid wood. They do not eat the wood, but simply remove it in order to build a nest.
Red Imported Fire Ants: vary in size from one-eighth to three-eighths inches. They construct large mounds for nests and administer painful stings.
Pavement Ants: are about one-eighth inch long. They generally make their nests in pavement cracks and are also capable of infesting a building.
Pharaoh Ants: are about one-sixteenth inch long. These ants are commonly found in hospitals and nursing homes, where they are are capable of transmitting Staphylecoccus and Pseudomonas infections. Pharaoh Ants also invade restaurants, apartment buildings and similar dwellings.
Ants with wings can easily be mistaken for termites, which may lead to a wrong treatment. In comparison, ants have a very narrow thorax (mid-section), while termites' bodies are more uniform.