When it comes to pest control in East Texas, ant infestations are one of the most common annoyances.
Hiring a pest control specialist to prevent and/or get rid of ants is one of the smartest choices you can make in terms of safety and efficiency. Here are just a few of the common types of ants that we get complaints on and treat here in the greater Longview, TX area:
Named for the acrobatic ability to lift their heart-shaped abdomens over their thorax and head, acrobat ants live up to their common name, especially when disturbed. Most of the various species of this small, light brown to black colored ant are less than 5.4 mm in length. Acrobat ants prefer to eat insects and honeydew, a sugary waste excreted by sap eating insects, however, many species may emit an unpleasant odor when threatened. This preference for sweets continues if they make it into your home, as their diet often consists of sweets and meat.
Argentine ants are very adaptable insects, easily nesting in many places. Their massive colonies can sometimes spread across entire habitats and may even contain hundreds of queens. In fact, a single colony can contain several hundred thousand workers. These dark brown to black ants build nests in moist soil, along sidewalks, next to or under buildings and beneath boards. Traveling in trails, argentine ants give off a musty odor when crushed and are omnivorous though they prefer sweet foods.
The excavation of wood for the building of nests gives carpenter ants their name. As they excavate galleries into moist, decaying wood grain, these ants create passages for movement throughout their nests. Wood shavings mixed with the remains of dead ants give evidence of these nesting locations. However, these large ants will feed on other insects and many types of human food, particularly sweets and meats.
This species of ants originated in Southeast Asia and is known for its frantic movements and habit of running in an erratic way while searching for food. This behavior also gives crazy ants their distinctive name and contributes to their worldwide reputation as an invasive species and environmental pest. The distinctive long legs of these dark brown to black colored ants give them a unique appearance. These omnivorous ants feed on honeydew produced by other insects, fruits, plant secretions and seeds. They will also feed on many household items including: sweets, grease, meats and various liquids.
Little Black Ants
Little Black Ants are found throughout the United States and get their common name from their small size and dark coloration. Moderately sized colonies may contain many queens and workers forage in trails. These ants are commonly seen along foundation walls and sidewalks and indoors, traveling across wooden items, walls and junctions between carpet and walls. These ants are omnivorous, eating insects, honeydew, vegetables, plant secretions, sweets and greasy or oily foods .
Odorous House Ants
The strong, rotten coconut-like smell given off when they are crushed, gives odorous house ants their distinctive name. Odorous house ants are small with dark brown or black bodies and they create nests in a variety of areas such as walls or beneath the floors of buildings, particularly during rainy weather. These ants travel in trails as they forage day and night feeding on honeydew, sweets, meats and grease.
Although possibly native to Africa, pharaoh ants are currently found throughout the United States and get their name from the faulty belief that they were one of the plagues of Egypt during the time of Pharaohs. These small ants nest in hidden areas throughout a structure, taking advantage of artificial heating to survive the winter. However, they will also nest outdoors in gardens or on lawns in warmer climates. Food service areas are often the chosen sites of infestation for these ants. They will eat other insects and all types of foods, especially sweets.
A very active and aggressive species, fire ants are known to attack animals and humans that intrude upon their nests. The two kinds of fire ants; the single-queen and multiple queen types, typically nest in the ground in visible mounds about 18 cm high and 61 cm in diameter. The stings of these ants can cause irritation, nausea and even more severe reactions. A large colony can have up to 250,000 workers and may cause damage by nesting in places such as electrical junction boxes as they seem to be attracted to electrical currents.