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Pest Guide: Ants


Argentine Ants

(Linepithema humile)

Argentine ant colonies can grow to monumental size. Their colony borders sometimes cover entire habitats. Argentine ant queens also assist with foraging for food. The ant gives off a musty odor when crushed. Worker argentine ants are about one sixteenth of an inch long. Queen argentine ants are one eighth of an inch to one quarter of an inch long.

Carpenter Ants

(Camponotus species)

Carpenter ants get their name because they excavate wood in order to build their nests. Their excavation results in smooth tunnels inside the wood. Carpenter ants range in size from one-quarter inch for a worker ant to up to three-quarters inch for a queen.

Moisture Ants

(Lasius pallitarsis)

Moisture ants are considered a secondary infestation to an existing moisture or rot problem in wood. They require a relatively high wood moisture content. They are frequently found in rotting stumps, landscape timbers, stacked wood, and rotting or wet walls and floors.

Odorous House Ants

(Tapinoma sessile)

This ant gets its name from the strong, rotten coconut-like smell it gives off when crushed. These tiny insects range in size from one-sixteenth of an inch to one-eighth of an inch long.

Pavement Ants

(Tetramorium caespitum)

Pavement ants get their name because they make their nests in or under cracks in pavement. They can infest structures.

Red Imported Fire Ants

(Solenopsis invicta)

Red imported fire ants nest in soil and build mound nests. They can infest garages.

Western Thatch Ants

(Formica obscuripes)

Western thatch ant colonies are easily recognizable as common ‘ant hills’ . Their colony numbers can be in the hundreds of thousands and the hills can reach 4 to 5 feet in height. Up to 25% of a Western thatch ant colony can be foraging at any one time, so it is common to find ‘ant trails’ sometimes 6” wide with hundreds of ants moving in them along fences, patios, driveways, and through yards.

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