Love them or hate them, we have to live with ants. Luckily, most ant species are simply nuisances that pick up food crumbs from the kitchen. There are however a few species which go beyond the nuisance territory and become serious pests. These species include the fire ant, the carpenter ant and the odorous house ant.

What do ants look like

Most ants are quite small, ranging in length from 1/16 of an inch to ¼ of an inch. The largest ants that you will find in the home are the carpenter ants, which can grow to be as long as half an inch. This is what sets them apart, and if you see large black ants in the home, then it may be time to panic.

When it comes to coloration, most ant species range from black to brown, with some  species having a metallic luster or a green hue. Fire ants on the other hand are red, and this is their main give away. Whenever you see red ants crawling about, you can assume that you are dealing with this species.

If we take a look at the general characteristics of ants, we know that they live in colonies, have six legs and their bodies have three joints, and that they have powerful mandibles. One species that stands out here is the odorous house ant, which has the extra characteristic of leaving a foul odor whenever it is crushed.

Diets

Certain ant species will prefer some foods over others. For example, you have ants that are drawn to protein such as meat, while others will prefer sugary substances. You also have species that will eat just about everything, and unfortunately, this is true for fire ants, which means that they are more likely to find something to eat in your home.

Pest species

The three ant pest species mentioned previously will need professional pest control as soon as they are detected. Carpenter ants act similarly to termites. They will infest wood and cause extensive damage to the home if left unchecked. Fire ants are known for their painful bites, and they are capable of killing people who are allergic to ant stings. Finally, odorous fire ants will leave a foul smell if you kill them by crushing. Because of these species, you want to get in touch with a pest control pro whenever you notice ants crawling around the home. Contact us today if you have an ant infestation and we will help you remove it.

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