There are many different types of ants in Houston, and although they are related, each species varies. Below you can read about common area ant species and what makes each different from the next.
What are ants?
Here are four ant species in the West Houston area and how to identify them:
- Black ants are usually jet black but can be dark brown to black and about 1/16 of an inch long.
- Fire ants are dark reddish-brown and about 1/8 to 3/8 of an inch long.
- Acrobat ants are light brown to black and about 1/8 of an inch long.
- Carpenter ants are red, black, or a combination of the two and about 5/8 of an inch long.
Ants are social insects that live in colonies and depend on each individual to play vital roles, such as workers, reproductive males, and queens.
Are ants dangerous?
While black ants and acrobat ants are nuisance pests, they can still contaminate the food they infest. However, this is little to worry about compared to the issues with fire ants and carpenter ants.
This ant species is one of the most aggressive in North America. Fire ants build their nests in open, sunny places compared to other species that prefer shady, protected areas. Because of this, it's a lot easier to accidentally disturb a fire ant nest, which will cause them to attack, delivering painful bites and stings. They are also invasive, putting a strain on the ecosystem and displacing native ants, among other problems they cause.
This species doesn't bite but instead are wood-destroying pests. Unlike termites, carpenter ants tunnel through wood to create nests but don't consume the wood. So although they may not do as much damage as termites, carpenter ants infestations can still cause dangerous structural damage.
Why do I have an ant problem?
All of the ant species mentioned are attracted to sugars and sweets. If ants find a viable food source in your home, they will alert the rest of their colony. Food sources can include crumbs, garbage, and more.
Carpenter ants become a problem when they find water-damaged, decaying, or soft wood they can tunnel through.
Where will I find ants?
Because ants are attracted to moisture, typical places you'll find these pests include the kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room, basement, and garage. If you have an ant problem, you will likely see them near your foundation, where they have found cracks and crevices to squeeze through to get inside.
How do I get rid of ants?
To effectively eliminate an ant infestation, you have to correctly identify the species you are dealing with. The best way to do this is with the help of a pest control professional.
At Samson Pest and Termite Services, we provide the treatments necessary to address any ant problem. Give us a call today to find out how we can remove ants from your home and keep them from coming back again.
How can I prevent ants in the future?
Use the following tips to prevent future ant infestations:
- Keep your home clutter-free to make it easier to clean.
- Clean up crumbs and spills right away.
- Store food properly.
- Secure garbage with tight-fitting lids.
- Fix leaks and address moisture buildup.
- Maintain your yard by mowing the lawn, trimming foliage, and removing debris.
- Inspect the exterior of your home for entry points like cracks in the foundation, gaps around windows and doors, and damage along the roofline.
- Trim any trees that are touching the side of your home.
Reach out to Samson Pest and Termite Services to learn more about effective ant prevention and control.