Ants may not send a shiver down your spine like the sighting of a cockroach or spider might. However, you want to act quickly if you see ants in your home or see a trail of ants by your door. Allow us to highlight three types of ants you may find in your Georgia home:
Type of Ant – Carpenter Ant
The two most popular types of carpenter ants are referred to as the Florida carpenter ant (most found in South Georgia) and the Black Carpenter Ant (most found in North Georgia). That leaves Middle Georgia with a healthy mix of both.
What does a carpenter ant look like? A Florida carpenter ant sports a deep-red head and thorax with a black abdomen. A Black carpenter ant is black with yellow hairs.
Why are carpenter ants in your home? Carpenter ants gravitate toward water (hello, kitchens and bathrooms!). However, outside your home can be an oasis for carpenter ants to enjoy, too. Consider the following places that may be housing carpenter ants due to excess moisture:
- Beneath windowsills
- Hollow doors & frames
- Inside dishwasher walls
- Under bathtubs or fiberglass insulation
- Wall voids, siding, or shingles
- Water-damaged wood or eaves
Fun fact! They get their name from their ability to chew through wood to make their nests. They don’t eat the wood.
Type of Ant – Fire Ant
Oh, the dreadful fire ant! Not only do they inflict immense amounts of pain when they bite, they do so in unison. Fire ants are extremely common in Georgia but are not native to the state. It is believed that they found their way here from South America.
What does a fire ant look like? Fire ants get their names from their distinctive look: reddish-orange color and a bite that feels like fire. Their mounds are large piles of soil or dirt that are dug up as fire ants build tunnels underground.
Why are fire ants in your home? Fire ants prefer building their mounds in open areas such as lawns or playgrounds, or you may find them next to structures like a fence or home. When they scavenge for food, they’ll enter through tiny cracks in your home and head straight for your kitchen.
Interesting fact! During periods of no rainfall or intense heat, fire ants stay underground to keep cool. Once the temperatures drop or rainfall occurs, fire ants become active again. That’s why you may see more fire ant mounds in the fall and spring or after a storm.
Type of Ant – Pharaoh Ant
Also known as a tramp ant, Pharaoh ants are a huge threat to a person’s health due to their ability to transmit diseases.
What does a Pharaoh ant look like? Pharaoh ants are very small and reddish yellow in color.
Why are Pharaoh ants in your home? Just like most insects, they are looking for food and are attracted to moisture. What makes them one of the most frustrating species of ants is their knack for finding very inaccessible places to build their nests. They prefer places in your home such as:
- Interior walls voids
- Under floors
- Behind baseboards
- In windowsills
If disturbed, they will split up their huge colony into several different colonies. Pharaoh ants must be addressed by a licensed pest control technician.
Noteworthy fact! A single colony of Pharaoh ants can have hundreds of thousands of ants. An infestation can be a threat to the entire structure.