Ants are the most common pest problem in America, with more than 80% of homeowners experiencing ant problems. There are more than 12,000 species of ants in the world, but only a few types typically pose the most significant problems for homes in the U.S.


Ants are easy to identify because they have three distinct body regions: a heart-shaped head with large jaws and elbowed antennae, a smooth round midsection, and a ridged tail end. Some ants grow wings in order to swarm and spread their colonies. Winged ants and termites can look similar, but the main difference is that a termite has two body segments and does not have a constricted waist. Termites also have smooth antennae instead of elbowed, with four wings of equal size that extend far beyond the end of their bodies. Winged ants have four wings, but two are much smaller than the others.


Ants can be a problem in or outside a home, where they can contaminate food, bite, and damage property. They can be difficult to control and treat once they are established. Many species are hard to identify to the untrained eye. Here are some that are common inside the home, including Carpenter ants, Odorous House ants and Pharaoh ants.


Common Ants Found Inside Homes

  • Carpenter Ants
    Carpenter ants invade homes and build their nests in dead, damp, hollow wood. Larger than the average household ant, they are ⅝” in size and can be identified by worker ants or swarmers (winged ants, which can often be mistaken for termites). Carpenter ants are usually red, black, or a combination of both. They can give a painful bite when disturbed. They can also cause structural damage to your home. Controlling them often requires the help of a professional.
  • Odorous House Ants
    Odorous House ants get their name from the odor they emit when crushed. Indoors, they are usually found near moisture and prefer eating sweet things. You may see worker ants or swarmers (winged ants) in your home. They do not bite, sting, or cause structural damage, and are primarily a nuisance. These ants are much smaller than a carpenter ant and range in size from 1/16″ – 1/8″. They are usually brown or black in color.
  • Pharaoh Ants
    Pharaoh ants feed on almost any type of food, even toothpaste and shoe polish. They do not sting or swarm, and rarely cause structural damage. They can, however, spread very quickly and are difficult to treat. They can spread diseases like Salmonella, Staphylococcus, and Clostridium, and are of particular concern for hospitals. Pharaoh ants are 1/16″ in size, and their bodies are usually pale, varying from yellow to red, with their abdomen often darker to black.


Treating Ants Inside Your Home

  1. Like all pests, ants are looking for food and water. Complete a thorough inspection in and around your home for leaking water and food sources, and eliminate them.
  2. Keep your kitchen especially clean and quickly take care of any water leaks.
  3. All ant species have different characteristics so the type of ant will determine how they should be treated in your home. If eliminating food and water sources does not stop ants from returning, consult with a local box retailer for pest treatment products and follow the instructions carefully.
  4. If the problem persists after eliminating food and water sources, as well as using DIY treatment products, contact a local pest professional to identify the ants and plan appropriate treatment.
  5. If you are building a new home, consider Taexx®, a built-in-the-wall pest control system that keeps common household pests out of the home, including ants. Many of the nation’s top builders are installing Taexx as a standard feature. If your builder isn’t already installing Taexx, you can ask for it.


Common Ants Found Outside Homes

  • Fire Ants
    The most common, bothersome outdoor ants are fire ants. Fire ants will sting anything that comes in their way or disrupts their mound, including children and pets. For more information on fire ants, visit our fire ants information page.
  • Crazy Ants
    Another common outdoor species is crazy ants, a relatively new invasive outdoor ant in the U.S. They get their name from their fast-moving erratic behavior. They are typically found in the Gulf Coast region and southeastern U.S., and prefer warm temperatures and humidity, which means they do not prefer to be inside cool homes.Crazy ants have multiple queens and hundreds of thousands of individuals, which make for very large colonies. Their colonies are found under and around rocks, leaf litter, the base of trees, and naturally shaded areas. They can monopolize food sources — causing them to drive out fire ants and other insects, which can impact the ecosystem. Crazy ants will bite, but their bite is not as painful as the sting of a fire ant. They range in size from 1/16” to ⅛” and are typically brown or black. They often require the expertise of a pest control professional to treat them.


Treating Ants Outside Your Home

  1. Identify which kind of ant you are dealing with to determine the best type of treatment. Consult a local box retailer for pest treatment products and follow the instructions carefully.
  2. Have patience and treat as many mounds as possible at the same time. If you treat just one mound, they will move to satellite mounds.
  3. Trim back bushes, shrubs, and trees that brush against your siding or roof to eliminate possible bridges for ants to reach your home. Avoid stacking firewood next to the house, and maintain a healthy lawn to discourage ants from returning.
  4. If you have crazy ants, treatment can be difficult. You should consult a local pest control expert about treatment options.


If you need help figuring out what type of ants you have and the best treatment for your situation, you can consult a local HomeTeam pest expert. Contact our nearest branch office.

Signs of Ant Infestations

  • Trails of Ants — One of the most obvious signs is the presence of ant trails, usually leading to a food source.
  • Small Piles of Sawdust — Certain ant species, like carpenter ants, create nests in wood, leaving behind small piles of sawdust.
  • Visible Nests — Some ant species construct nests outdoors, often noticeable as small mounds of soil or sand.
  • Rustling Sounds in Walls — Carpenter ants might cause rustling sounds within walls as they create nests in wood.
  • Piles of Wings — After swarming, flying ants shed their wings. Finding discarded wings can indicate an ant colony nearby.
  • Presence of Ant Mounds — Outdoor ant species may build mounds in gardens or lawns.
  • Trapped Ants in Spider Webs — Ants caught in spider webs might reveal their presence around your home.


How to Get Rid of Ants in the Home

Ant infestations can be frustrating, but you can effectively eliminate them with the right approach. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get rid of ants in your home:

  • Identify the Ant Species — Knowing the type of ant helps in choosing the most effective control methods. Different species have different habits and preferences.
  • Locate Entry Points — Seal cracks, gaps, and crevices where ants might be entering your home. Ants are adept at finding even the tiniest openings.
  • Maintain Cleanliness — Keep your home clean and free of food crumbs. Regularly clean kitchen surfaces and floors to eliminate potential ant food sources.
  • Use Natural Deterrents — Ants dislike certain substances like cinnamon, vinegar, or lemon. Use these natural repellents in areas where ants are entering.
  • Utilize Professional Pest Control — Consider professional pest control services for persistent or large-scale infestations. Experts, like HomeTeam Pest Defense, can assess the situation and implement targeted solutions.
  • Regular Monitoring — Even after eliminating the infestation, monitor your home for any signs of ants. Addressing issues promptly prevents future problems.


By following these steps and staying vigilant, you can reclaim your home from ant invasions and enjoy a ant-free living space.


Take the Stress Out of Ant Pest Control: Choose HomeTeam Pest Defense!

Dealing with ant infestations requires more than DIY solutions. While home remedies might provide temporary relief, they often fail to deliver long-lasting results. Ants are resilient and can find new entry points even after you’ve attempted to block them.


That’s where professional pest control services, like HomeTeam Pest Defense, come in. Our experienced team understands the particulars of ant behavior and employs targeted strategies to eliminate entire colonies, ensuring a comprehensive and lasting solution. Save yourself the hassle of trial-and-error methods and let our experts handle it.


Conducting over 2,000,000 services annually, our team of over 2,000 skilled professionals operates from more than 50 branch locations across the country. What sets us apart is our specialized approach, utilizing the integrated home system, Taexx®.


As a company with a mission to protect homes and improve communities, we ensure a superb experience for our clients through our commitment to excellence, transparency, continuous improvement, and a people-focused approach.


If you’ve been looking up “how to get rid of ants in the home,” we’re here for you! Don’t let ant invasions disrupt your peace of mind. Choose professional help for effective and prompt ant pest control. HomeTeam Pest Defense is here to safeguard your home, helping to provide you with a pest-free living environment.


Say goodbye to ant troubles — request a quote or contact us at (877) 461-7378 to schedule a consultation today!

What can I do, as a homeowner, to help eliminate or control an ant infestation?

To achieve long-term control and prevention of ants, heed the following tips:

  1. Eliminating the food source.
  2. Trimming bushes and hedges near or touching your house in the affected area.
  3. Caulking or closing potential entry points.
  4. Chemically treat with the appropriate insecticides either on your own or using a pest control professional.


What are considered the top pests in the U.S.?

In the United States, several pests pose common challenges for homeowners. Among these, ants are particularly prevalent. Various ant species, such as Carpenter ants, Pharaoh ants, and Odorous House ants, are frequently encountered. Ants are attracted to different environments, seeking food and water sources, making them common nuisances in homes.


Other common pests in the U.S. besides ants include cockroaches, rodents, termites, mosquitoes, and bedbugs. These pests can cause damage, spread diseases, and create discomfort in households. Effective pest control measures are essential to address and prevent infestations of these common pests in the U.S.


Why are there ants in my house?

Ants are attracted to food sources, water, and shelter. Ensuring proper food storage, sealing entry points, and addressing moisture issues can deter them.


For comprehensive ant control, professional pest management services, like HomeTeam Pest Defense, offer tailored solutions to keep homes ant-free. Get in touch with our expert team today for assistance!

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