Some people are of the mindset that an ant is just an ant…but this is far from true if you are trying to get rid of unwanted ants from your home or yard.
Let’s take a look at the various types of ants you may be finding in your southern Louisiana home so that you can learn more about where their nests are kept and how to get rid of them.
Carpenter ants are large, and they can be various colors, including red, orange and black. If you’ve been noticing activity late at night, you may have carpenter ants in your yard, as these ants are nocturnal and come out at dark, cruising along fences and tree limbs. Another telltale sign that you have carpenter ants is finding nests in trees and branches. Carpenter ants do not sting, but they will bite, so never reach into an ant nest.
Little Black Ants
Little black ants are a species of ants, and they include the tiny black and brown ants that are common in U.S. households. Even though black ants are an important part of our ecosystem, they can become a major headache when you find them in your yard. Plus, once they make it into your outdoor space, they’re one step closer to invading the inside of your home. These ants will eat just about anything, including other insects, sweets and oily foods. You will notice little black ants in large colonies, traveling along sidewalks and foundation walls.
Red Imported Fire Ants
Fire ants are found in the southern states, Louisiana included. They can be identified by their reddish-brown color and double pedicel (waist). Fire ants are good at hiding their mounds because you can’t see the entrance holes, but their aggressive behavior certainly gives them away. These ants nest outdoors, but they will have no problem entering your home in the late summer in order to find food and water.
Yes – crazy ants do exist! They are named this because of their fast, erratic movements. Crazy ants are found in habitats that are warm and humid, making Louisiana a great home. You are more likely to find crazy ants inside the home or in potted plants. But they can also nest outdoors, so keep an eye out for dark brown ants that have long legs and antennae, plus move very fast.
Leaf-cutting ants have a very distinct look to them since they have long legs and three sets of spine on their thorax. They live in the soil and make mounds that are crater shaped and built together like a small town. Leaf-cutting ants get their name from their ability to carry freshly cut dried leaves to their nest. These leaves eventually turn into a type of fungus that the leaf-cutting ants eat for food.
Acrobat ants look very similar to carpenter ants, so it’s easy to get them confused at first. The difference between acrobat ants and carpenter ants is that the acrobat species works during the day. They can be defensive when disturbed, and these motions are what lead the ants to be called acrobats (they balance their gasters into the air). You’ll be most likely to find acrobat ants in trees, but they will also migrate into the home, living in insulation and walls.
Pharaoh ants are most likely to be found inside the home instead of the yard, but they may also be found in cardboard boxes or electrical boxes outdoors. They are tiny and have a yellowish color with two pedicels. Pharaoh ants prefer living in dark, narrow spaces instead of in colonies in the ground. They are picky eaters as well, preferring foods that are high in sugar and protein.
Tired of Living with Ants?
There are many types of ants that can be found in your home or yard; little black ants and carpenter ants are the most common species found in the Louisiana area. That’s because little black ants and carpenter ants eat old leaves, wood and food scraps, and when there is a constant source of food, these ants will build nests so that they can return. While a few of these ants are certainly okay, multiple colonies are not.
These are the most common ants found in Louisiana, so there’s a good chance that what you’re seeing in your yard may come from one of the species listed above. There are many other ants as well, including field ants, ghost ants and odorous ants, so if you feel that you have a greater problem on your hand, contact the local, LA-based professional ant exterminators at Ja-Roy Pest Control today.