Ant Identification Guide

What are ants?

Ants are one of the most common and recognizable species of pests. They live together in large colonies with multiple nesting sites, making finding and eliminating their entire colony a problematic task. Comprised of queens, males, and workers (sterile females), an ant colony divides its members into different groups called castes. The male's only job is to mate with the queens so she can lay the eggs that expand the colony. Worker ants are responsible for caring for the young, gathering food, and defending the colony.

many ants crawling on a patio outside of a home in fairfield connecticut

Pavement ants and pharaoh ants are two of the most common species of ants living throughout our area of Connecticut:

Pavement ants
Pavement ants are small and dark brown or black. As their name suggests, they place their nests in pavement, along sidewalks, and cracks in or near foundations.

Pharaoh ants
Pharaoh ants are yellow or light brown and prefer to nest indoors. They are problematic inside homes, hospitals, schools, restaurants, and other places where food is stored.

Are ants dangerous?

Although they invade in large numbers and contaminate our food sources, most of the ants we come across aren’t dangerous. The pavement ant is an example of a nuisance ant; while we don’t want them living on our property, they don’t pose any significant danger to us or our property. Depending on the species, however, ants can potentially pose a danger to people or properties. The pharaoh ant is an example of a dangerous ant. Pharaoh ants spread disease pathogens that cause salmonella and Streptococcus. They also cause significant problems in hospitals by seeking out moisture from the open mouths of sleeping patients, contaminating wounds, and invading IV bags.

Why do I have an ant problem?

Ants have found their way onto your property because it provides food sources to them. Once ants find a suitable food source, they communicate this back to the rest of the colony using chemical signals. Areas of moisture such as water-damaged wood and objects like leaky pipes and fixtures will also attract ants. Additionally, they ants will move inside to escape harsh weather conditions.

Where will I find ants?

Most people first see ants wandering around their gardens, driveways, walkways, or decks. Outdoors, ants nest in the soil under fallen trees, in woodpiles, tree stumps, next to foundations, and along sidewalks. The workers are regularly seen outside of their nests foraging for food. Pharaoh ants prefer to nest inside, especially in the northern part of the country where there are periods of frigid weather.

How do I get rid of ants?

Here at Connecticut Pest Elimination, our dedicated and licensed pest technicians provide the comprehensive pest control services needed to eliminate ants and other common pests and keep them from returning! Guard your home or business against pests with the help of a local, full-service pest control company with over 27 years of experience. For more information about our commercial and residential pest control services, reach out to Connecticut Pest Elimination today!

How can I prevent ants in the future?

In addition to our professional services, the following prevention tips will help you to avoid problems with ants here in Connecticut:

  • Cut overgrown shrubs and bushes back from the exterior of your home or business.

  • Keep tight-fitting or locking lids on outdoor trash cans and compost bins.

  • Make sure window and door screens are entirely intact.

  • Repair any openings along your roofline.

  • Repair leaky pipes and fixtures.

  • Ventilate crawlspaces.

  • Seal cracks in the driveway.

  • Use dehumidifiers to dry out basements.

  • Cut tree branches away from your roof line.

  • Use a caulking gun to seal cracks in the foundation of your property.

  • Keep food in the refrigerator or airtight containers – not out on counters or tables.

  • Leave a barrier of stone or rock between mulch or soil and the foundation of your property.

 

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