We share our world with trillions of ants, and although they’re tiny—they are an ancient species with surprisingly sophisticated civilizations. An ant colony can be smart enough to know how to invade a person’s home and cause a lot of damage—so it’s important to stay one step ahead.
• These aggressive ants were natives to Europe before they migrated to North America.
• They are prone to building colonies under asphalt. They are small, dark brown ants that are max 1/16 inches in length.
Odorous House Ant
• These persistent ants are known for the pungent smell released when killed, and are attracted to moist parts of the house.
• At maximum they are 1/8 inches in length, and are brown and black in color
Small Honey Ant
• Known for their insatiable appetite for honeydew, these ants live in small colonies, are max 1/8 inches in length, dark brown in color, and have triangular abdomens.
• Homeowners must be vigilant against these excavation experts, who can dig through wooden houses similarly to termites.
• They are about ¾ inches in length, and brown and black in color.
• This small colorful ant is one of the most common in the world, and they have a bad reputation for nesting in houses and old buildings.
• They are 1/12 – 1/16 inches in length and are yellow and brown in color.
Identifying The Signs of Infestation
Is your home infested by ants? There are important tell-tale signs of infestation, and some hazards to be cautious of.
• An infestation is not always obvious. Are there dirt mounds a short distance from your home (in the yard or driveway) with live ants inside them? It’s very likely these colonies extend into your house.
• If you notice a trail of such ants leading into your home—you must get them quickly, as it means they’ve identified a target in your home, and are sending messages back for more troops.
• Further, if you encounter multiple large brown or black ants in your home, over any length of time, it could indicate structural wood damage to your house by carpenter ants. So don’t let this go unchecked.
A few steps can reduce a homeowner’s risk of an ant infestation:
• Be mindful of how ants can access your home. Remove all plants and vegetation in direct contact with your foundation, or any other moist habitat that is perfect for an ant colony to form.
• Ants will only invade your home for a good reason. Ensure the trash is emptied frequently, food is kept in sealed containers, and dirty dishes are washed. Keep the kitchen counter clean, and be careful of leaving crumbs.
Ants aren’t just a nuisance—they can pose a health risk to you and your family:
• Certain species, like the pharaoh ant, spread the salmonella bacteria—a potentially deadly food-borne illness. Ants that eat decomposing substances can spread other bacteria into your home, as well.
• Some people are allergic to ant venom, and a sting can result in deadly anaphylactic shock, similar to allergic reactions from bees.
• Some species of ants are very aggressive, and if your wastebin becomes infested, simply taking out the trash can result in dozens of painful bites and stings.