HomeTeam has many Entomologists in the regions of the country where we provide service. These scientists study insects and their relationship to the environment, humans and other organisms. Our entomologists are reporting ant pest pressure is high in all regions.
Currently in Florida, ghost ants are popping up everywhere. Ghost ants get their name because they are difficult to spot – pale bodies and very small in size. Colonies tend to be large and they are partial to sweet foods, so you may find these in your kitchen. The National Pest Management Association says, “Ghost ants often enter homes by trailing along branches of trees and shrubs in direct contact with the structure. To prevent a ghost ant infestation, homeowners should keep shrubbery trimmed, branches cut back, leaf litter and debris removed, and firewood stored at least 20 feet away from the home.”
Argentine ants prefer the climate of the Southwest but can be found in any region. Argentine ant colonies can get massive, with hundreds of thousands of workers. These dark brown to black ants “prefer to eat sweets, but they will eat almost anything including meats, eggs, oils and fats.” They enter homes similarly to ghost ants and are attracted to water, so eliminate standing water near your home or in the yard.
Texas is seeing Rover ants, a small reddish brown to pale blonde ant. Rovers are attracted to lights, and you will typically see them appearing shortly after dusk during summer months. They create nests under mulch or heavy vegetation and can enter your home like most other ants.
Texas and many Southeastern states also deal with the dreaded fire ant. Fire ant stings can be very painful, they prefer to live outdoors and are often found around sidewalks, next to homes and under trees and shrubs. When a fire ant mound is disturbed they will swarm out by the hundreds to sting any person or animal perceived as a threat.
Whether you are seeing these specific ants, or common carpenter or odorous house ants, you’ll want to get to the source and control the population as quickly as possible. Keeping shrubbery trimmed away from the house will help prevent them from entering, and prevention is the best defense. If you have an ant problem it’s best to call a pest control professional for help. Visit www.pestdefense.com or call 877-461-7378 to reach your local branch.
‘Photo by Alex Wild, myrmecos.net’