How many homes are on your property? If your answer is only one, then you would be wrong. Pests have built their homes all around you. Some inside your walls, others out in your yard. Today we will be talking about one pest that loves building intricate homes deep underground. Of course, we are referring to ants.
The question is, how many different kinds of ants live here in Orlando, and more importantly, how many are known for causing trouble for homeowners. Let's find out together as we look at the seven most common ants in our area.
If the driest parts of your yard have hills of red ants, you are probably up against a fire ant infestation. The biggest problem fire ants pose is the pain they inflict. Fire ants can inflict so much discomfort because they have both stingers and powerful mandibles that they use to sting and bite anything that they perceive as a threat. Common symptoms of walking over a fire ant nest barefoot include violent shaking of legs and feet, hopping, tiny needle pricks of pain, and many uses of the words ouch, ow, or ah.
Ghost ants are difficult to see due to their tiny size and pale color. A single colony of ghost ants can have thousands of workers, and many functional queens spread out over multiple nesting sites, making them a challenge to eliminate. The good news is that they are only considered nuisance pests and pose no real threat when in or around our homes.
Argentine ants are best known for being ant bullies. Specifically, they are known for displacing other native ant species. Because of how fast these ants reproduce, it is not uncommon for a colony size to reach into the hundreds of thousands. Some colonies are so big that they can inhabit whole city blocks.
As their name suggests, white-footed ants have white feet. These ants don't share their food. Sterile workers will lay eggs to feed their larvae and the non-foraging adults of the colony in order to combat the lack of food being brought back to the colony.
Fun fact, acrobat ants, can raise their abdomen over their thorax. We aren't really sure what purpose this serves, but it is cool to watch. Apart from this neat trick, acrobat ants are light brown to black and aren't known for causing any serious problems around homes.
Most ants are just considered a nuisance. Pharaoh ants are one of the few exceptions. Typically yellow, pharaoh ants are known for their ability to pick up and transmit dangerous diseases. Hospitals and other health care facilities are especially susceptible to pharaoh ant infestations.
Over 90% of American homes are built out of wood. That said, can you guess where carpenter ants like to build their nests? If you guessed inside the wood in our homes, you would be correct. This behavior can severely damage your house given enough time. The good news is that carpenter ants are the biggest ant in North America, which makes them easy to identify.
How To Prevent Ants
There are several things you can do on your own to keep all types of ants out of your house. Here are a few things our experts recommend:
- Address moisture issues in and around your home.
- Seal up gaps and cracks in your home's exterior.
- Make sure all of your window and door screens are in good working order.
- Invest in door sweeps for all of your exterior doors.
- Clean regularly and do not neglect under furniture and large appliances.
- Store leftover food and beverages inside tightly sealed containers.
If you do not have time to combat ants on your own or are looking for a more reliable solution, we offer high-quality ant control here at Green Flag Services. Reach out to our team today to discover more about our award-winning services, or to schedule a treatment for your Orlando home or property.