Common Ants in Texas
What are ants?
Ants are common pests that can be found living in and around homes. They are quite social and live together in large colonies. Ants can be identified by their three distinct body regions: their head, thorax, and abdomen. The reproductive members of an ant colony are the only members with wings. When a colony is mature, the reproductive ants emerge to find mates and create a new colony. Some of the more common species of ants found living in the Southeast region of Texas include:
Carpenter ants are considered dangerous. They enter homes while foraging for food, and often stay to tunnel through and nest inside structural wood. Over time, their damage can become significant and expensive to repair.
Fire ants are dangerous ants. They are highly aggressive and will attack perceived threats in large groups. They bite and deliver painful, venom-filled stings.
Tawny (Rasberry) crazy ants are dangerous ants. They breed rapidly, create large colonies, and are difficult to control. Inside homes, they can cause electrical shorts and failures if they nest inside electrical equipment.
Pharaoh ants are also considered dangerous ants. Pharaoh ants carry and transmit serious diseases to people, including salmonella and Streptococcus.
Ghost ants are nuisance ants. They are an annoyance inside homes, and they emit a coconut-like, unpleasant odor when they are crushed.
Are ants dangerous?
Ants are typically divided into two categories; nuisance ants or dangerous ants. Nuisance ants don’t pose any health problems to people, nor do they cause structural damage. Dangerous ants have the potential to pose physical threats, health threats, or they may damage property.
Why do I have an ant problem?
Ants live on properties that offer them food, water, and shelter. Clogged gutters, open garbage cans, gardens, compost piles, woodpiles, trees, dense vegetation, and pet food, are attractive to ants. Once on your property, they tend to find their way into your home through cracks and crevices in exterior walls while foraging for food. Some species of ants choose to invade homes when the weather outside becomes too hot, cold, dry, or wet for them to live comfortably.
Where will I find ants?
Ants nest in a variety of places, depending on their specific species:
- Fire ants prefer to build mounds in open, sunny areas, but they can also be found nesting inside rotting logs and stumps.
- Ghost ants like to nest outside under stones, logs, firewood, or in potted plants. When nesting inside homes, they can be found behind baseboards, in wall voids, and in the backs of cabinets.
- Pharaoh ants like to nest in warm, humid areas that are close to food and water sources. They can typically be found nesting outside inside wood, and inside homes behind wall voids and baseboards, and in crawl spaces.
- Carpenter ants nest inside hollowed-out dead trees, tree stumps, in firewood, and fence posts. Inside, carpenter ants can be found tunneling through and nesting inside wall voids, crawl spaces, and even in foam insulation.
- Rover ants nest underneath stones, leaf litter, landscaping ties, loose bark, and in sandy areas. Inside, they can be found nesting in areas of high moisture, such as in potted plants, in bathroom and kitchen areas, inside electrical outlets, underneath shingles, and behind wall voids.
- Tawny (Rasberry) crazy ants build nests under stumps, in damp soil, under rocks and landscape timbers, in potted plants, and under piles of debris, compost, and garbage. They typically don’t build nests inside homes but will go inside to feed.
- Leafcutter ants nest outside underneath the ground. They collect leaves and other pieces of plants to take into their nests, in order to grow a fungus garden. This fungus is their only source of nutrition.
How do I get rid of ants?
To find, eliminate, and accurately identify the ants that are living and nesting on your property or in your home, contact a professional pest control expert. At Bill Clark Pest Control, our highly trained 'Bugsperts' receive continuous education and are up-to-date with the latest information and industry trends. To eliminate ants, our professionals provide thorough inspections and treatment through our residential pest control programs. For exceptional ant control in Southeast Texas, reach out to Bill Clark Pest Control.
How can I prevent ants in the future?
To stop ants from choosing your home and property to nest and breed on, the 'Bugsperts' offer the following prevention tips:
- Trim tree branches and bushes that are touching the outside of your home.
- Seal gaps or cracks in the foundation and exterior walls of your home.
- Put weather stripping around all exterior windows and doors.
- Place door sweeps on all exterior doors, and replace any torn window or door screens.
- Remove water sources from your property.
- Maintain gutters.
- Keep locking lids on all outdoor trash cans.
- Place woodpiles, garden areas, and compost piles a distance away from the outside of your home.
- Put into place a residential pest control program from Bill Clark Pest Control.