Ants - Pest Library

Ants – Pest Library

Ants can usually be found in lawns, trees, ornamental plantings and shrubs. Some ants can be confused by termites, but ants have the following special characteristics:

  1.  Ants don’t have a straight antennae. Their antenna is elbowed.
  2.  Large front wings for ants, termites wings are the same size.
  3.  Ants’ waist is thin, termites waist is broad.
  4.  Ants’ wings are transparent or a little brown. Termite wings are white.


Little Black Ant: Ant workers of this type of ant are 1/10-1/8 inch in length and black bodies, this type of ant is found on rotting wood and in soil, these ants feed on many types of food sources.

Cornfield Ant: These ants are 1/8-1/4 inch in length, light to dark brown in color, soft-bodied and robust, when the body of this type of ant is crushed it has an acid odor, these ants feed on seeds.

Larger Yellow Ant: When this type of ant is crushed it gives off a lemon-verbena odor, they live in the soil and on the roots of plants.

Ants live in colonies where only one ant reproduces, the queen ant. Their colonies can contain thousands of ants in them. The queen ant lays eggs to sustain the ant population, they live from one to fifteen years and will produce thousands of eggs.

Larvae hatch and a new ant is born, their appearance is white translucent, very soft-bodied and legless. Larvae or baby ants are fed by the worker ants along with the queen ant, worker ants are called foragers. There are several stages that larvae has to go through before becoming an adult, most of the larvae become worker ants, those who develop wings will become the new queen and kings of a new colony. Winged ants will fly away during spring and late summer, they will leave the nest and swarm, the female and male will mate but the male ant will die soon after. The new queen ant will find a new location where it is soft to dig and form a new home to her and her new babies, she will tear off her wings and will merge into the soil to lay eggs, she will only take care of the first generation of babies, later generations will take care of her.

Ants are beneficial to some degree because they are predators of many other pests, but people don’t like ants because they bite and sting.

Ant species include over 12,0000 different types, the most common ants are the black garden ant, fire ant, pavement ant and tapinoma sessile. Their color can vary from brown, black or red. Ants are very hard-working creatures that can carry from up to 10-50 times their own body weight! They are identified by a very thin waste and elbowed antenna. Ants belong in hymenoptera family along with wasps and bees. The ant’s diet can range from nectar, seeds, fungus to even small mammals depending on the type of ant. Each ant farm has a female winged ant or commonly known as the queen ant. The queen is the one to lay the eggs, ensuring the stability of the ant population. The worker ants will live an average of 1-3 years while the queen can live up to 30 years!  The ants that are commonly seen by humans, are the worker ants who cannot reproduce or fly like the queen can, these can be both male and female.


Ants are generally found in every type of land form but rarely in the extremely cold ones. They tend to hide out in dead trees, underground or in mounded structures. Also, ants can nest inside tree and some small arcon-like structures. Ants will be more active in the warmer climates and weather. Usually will begin to hide underground or in warm spaces during cool times. Typically the pavement colony ants will average 3,000-4,000 inhabitants.

Ant control

The best way to exterminate or have an ant control method is by destroying the nest. If the nest is not destroyed with the queen and young then the population will continue. Many ant pesticides are toxic and can be harmful for pets and kids. Many exterminators now used chemicals that are pet and kid safe, if you’re treating the lawn yourself, make sure you read the pesticide label and do now allow children to play on the lawn until the chemicals have been washed and the grass has dried.

Depending on the location and type of ant there’s many different ways to exterminate these pests. Ants can spread to almost every area but it is always best to take preventative measures ensuring they will not spread to indoors. To terminate these pests outdoors it is best to use a non-repellent insecticide, a few of these are Terminator SC or Fuse Insecticide. This solution will break up the colonies and make them easier to exterminate. After the ants have dispersed place the ant extermination bait in strategic areas around each colony  (the type of product will depend on the ant being exterminated) and wait for poison to work through the colony.  To prevent the ants from entering homes or establishments be sure to seal cracks and crevices very thoroughly. Then clean these areas with some type of detergent afterwards seal this up with a FUSE insecticide or a solution that is somewhat similar.

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