Ant Species

Pavement Ants

Pavement ants are black to dark brown, with lighter colored legs. They are up to 1/8" in length. Pavement ants have two nodes (segments between the thorax and abdomen). The most identifiable features of the pavement ant are probably indented grooves parallel to each other, one on the head, the other on the thorax.

Their name is just what it implies as far as their nesting habits are concerned. They can be found around sidewalks, rocks, cracks in basement slabs, etc. When nests are found in homes, it is typically in wall voids and sub-flooring. They typically become a pest as it starts to get colder, because they are looking to nest in a warmer place over the winter.

Pavement ants feed on grease and meat basically, but will feed on other insects, and sweet foods.

As prevention methods to keep pavement ants out of your home, make sure all cracks and gaps around the exterior of your home are filled. You may want to make sure that any crack in the concrete on slab homes or in your basement are properly sealed. Rocks, old wood, and leaves should be cleaned up around the exterior of your home because this will give them less choices for nesting sites on your property.

Baiting and residual sprays are the best bet to get rid of these pests. Give us a call!

Citronella Ants

The Large Yellow Ant, or Citronella Ant as it is often referred to, are about 1/4" to 3/16" in length. They are a gold-yellow color or reddish-yellow in color and have one node (segment between the thorax and abdomen). They also have an uneven thorax. Large Yellow Ants get the name "Citronella Ant" because of the citronella-like smell that is given of when they are crushed.

Winged "swarmers" can be found in the thousands during the spring and late fall. These ants do over winter. Some of the places that they nest are under rocks and landscaping timbers, in rotting wood, around patios, and mounds that you may find in your yard. It is thought that they feed specifically on honeydew produced by aphids.

These ants are of no danger to causing any type of structural damage, but they can be an annoying pest, especially for some people that may have them pop up through cracks in their basement or from nesting in crawlspaces. 

Having a pest control operator perform a one time service for you is a good way to get rid of them if they are nesting inside, but the best form of pest control is probably to try to control the aphids you may have around ornamental plants. Without a food source close by, they will most likely look elsewhere to nest.

House Ants

House ants are 1/16" to 1/18" in length and black or dark brown in color. They have one node (segment between the thorax and abdomen). These ants, unlike most others in our area, live for several years.

House ants will feed on just about any human food, but it seems they prefer sweet foods or grease. They typically nest outside under logs or rocks. Sometimes if you discover a different form of ant you will find house ants also. That is because they will nest in the same place(s) other ants are nesting. When they choose your home as a nesting site, you will typically find them nesting in wall voids by pipes, around kitchen cabinets, or by pipes near your hot water heater.

Because these ants both swarm in the summer and "bud off", they can be difficult to control. Baits can be used, preferably a combination of sweet and protein, along with a barrier spray to prevent foraging workers from returning to the nest in your home. Where they have nested in wall voids, they void must be treated to eliminate the nesting site. The baits and service that Yield Pest provide are second to none. Give us a call to get rid of these pests!

Pharoah Ants

Pharaoh Ants are extremely small, growing only to about 1/16" in length. They have two nodes (segment between the thorax and abdomen) and are light brown to dark yellowish-gold in color. They can also be distinguished from other smaller ants by a three segmented "club" on the end of their antenna.

Pharaoh Ants feed on a variety of foods, ranging from meats, other insects, sweets, syrup, grease, and just about any other food that humans might consume. These ants can be extremely difficult to control, because they nest just about anywhere inside your home. They will nest in sub-flooring, attics, electrical outlets, wall voids, behind baseboards, etc. Some common structures these pests invade are hospitals and nursing homes. 

Another reason they are difficult to control is because these ants do not swarm. Instead they produce new colonies by "budding". This means you could have up to 54 queens in one colony. If the colony is sprayed, they will sense danger and divide the colony up, making a bad problem worse. Baiting with only specific types of baits will be effective in eliminating Pharaoh Ants, so it is important to have a pest control operator take care of the problem for you.

Crazy Ants

Crazy Ants are only about 1/8-inch (3 mm) long. The abdomen has long  hairs around it. The name 'Crazy Ant' came about because these ants tend to run around in what appears to be an erratic fashion.

Crazy ants often nest in soil around plants outside and/or potted plants. It does not survive outdoors in northern climates, but can be a very difficult to get rid of when the colony establishes itself inside your home.

Crazy ants are omnivorous and will feed on a variety of things such as plants, seeds, honeydew from aphids, meats, sugars, and insect remains.

As stated above, Crazy Ants can be difficult to control indoors, because like Pharaoh Ants, they reproduce their colonies by a process called budding, rather than swarming. 

Pharaoh Ant colonies can have up to 40 queens in one colony. When spraying to eliminate a colony that reproduces by budding it is possible you could make the problem even worse! Persistently baiting is the only effective way to eliminate  Crazy Ants.

Acrobat Ants

Acrobat Ants are brown to blackish in color and are only about 1/8-inch (3 mm) long. One key identifying characteristic is that the pedicel (part between the abdomen and thorax) attaches to the upper part of the abdomen. When Acrobat Ants are viewed from above, the abdomen appears heart-shaped.

Acrobat ants often tunnel and nest in wood. They live in decaying tree stumps and can live in woodwork especially door or window frames. Acrobat ants may nest in wood already damaged by carpenter ants or termites. Nests are also found in foam insulation. Nest locations are often associated with moisture problems and water leaks. Acrobat ants feed on honeydew produced by aphids exclusively, which makes baitng Acrobat Ants colonies ineffective. 

After locating where a colony is living, the most effective way to eliminate an Acrobat Ant colony in or around your home is by dusting the area. 

In order to keep Acrobat Ants from re-infesting your home.....or to keep them out in the first place, it will help to make sure that you repair areas that may have had moisture damage, such as siding or deck boards. 

Thief Ants

Thief Ants are the smallest ants found throughout the world. They are only 1/32 of an inch to 1/16 of an inch (1-1.5 mm) in length. They are yellowish in color and are often called 'grease ants' or 'sugar ants'. Pharoah ants are quite frequently confused with Pharoah Ants; the major distinguishing identifiable physical characterisitics between the two is that Thief Ants have 2 segments at the end of the very end of their antenna, whereas Pharoah ant have 3 segments. 

 The name 'Thief Ant' comes from these ants frquently stealing larvae from neighboring ant colonies. They are omnivorous and feed on other insects, meats, sugars, and other foods that are high in protein. 

Thief ant colonies will typically nest in moist, rotting wood or in the soil under rocks outside and in wall voids, behind baseboards, under countertops or in behind cabinets inside.

Field Ants

Field Ants are fairly large at about 3/8 of an inch in length and are often mistake for Carpenter Ants because of their size and appearance. Like Carpenter Ants, Field Ants may vary in color from black to brown, to yellowish, to reddish in color.

A major physical attribute distinguishing Field Ants from Carpenter Ants is the presence of three 'dots' called ocelli on their head.

Field ants are commonly found around houses outside in flower beds or even out in the lawn. They can however, also be found under rocks, wood, and landscaping areas. 

Field Ants hardly ever are found indoors, as their diet consists of honeydew from aphids and other insects.

Control or elimination Field Ants is usually done by locating the colony's nesting site and treating that area. Baits do not prove to be very effective in the elimination of Field Ant colonies.

Carpenter Ants

   Carpenter Ants range in size from 1/8" to 1/2".They are typically jet black in color. However, there are some variations of this. The most typical variation would be jet black on the head and abdomen, with a reddish or brownish thorax. They can be identified fairly easily by the one "node"(one segment) they have that connects the abdomen to the thorax. They also have a circle of hairs around the abdomen that has a silvery-goldish sheen to it. Finally, they have a large head with an evenly rounded thorax when looked at from the side.  

Contrary to popular belief, Carpenter Ants do not actually eat wood. They actually are more of a scavenger, feeding on honeydew left by aphids, other insects, sweets, and meat. Why they are actually so destructive in wood is because they make it their home. Carpenter Ants prefer to start nests in areas of wood that may have had previous water damage. This makes it easier for the ants to burrow into the wood to make their nests because the wood is softer. They also may prefer areas with a moisture problem because it gives them a close water source. 

One sign that you may have Carpenter Ants nesting in your home may be seeing some of these ants foraging in your home. If you are seeing a large number during the day, you can bet that you have a large colony close by. This is because Carpenter Ants actually do the majority of their feeding at night. Keep in mind that just because you have seen a few Carpenter Ants inside your home does not necessarily mean that they are nesting in your home.  

Carpenter Ants are very clean as they hollow out new galleries in wood, so another sign might be what appears to be sawdust around entrance and exit holes for the colony. In these areas you may also see body parts left from other insects they have fed on and some of their own dead. Finally, Carpenter Ants will produce winged "swarmers" when a colony is mature. These "swarmers" will break off and form a new colony somewhere else. 

In order to get rid of a Carpenter Ant colony, you have to hit the colony were they live, killing the queen. Spraying can be ineffective without removal of the colony because the queen will just continue to produce more workers. Baiting can reduce populations, but it also is ineffective in complete removal of a colony because they feed on such a wide variety of foods. 

To prevent from getting these destructive pests in your home, it is a good idea to trim back trees that may be touching your house. Also, if you have firewood around, don't store it close to the house.

Big Headed Ant

Big Headed Ants are small in size at around 1/16 of an inch to 1/8 of an inch. They are typically light brown to tan in color. This ant gets its name because of its obvious appearance of having a very large head in comparison to its body. 

Big Headed Ant colonies are usually very small in regards to the population of the colony, also.

While many ant species will take refuge by establishing colonies under rocks, logs, landscaping areas, or inside of wall voids within your home, these ants tend to build nests in open areas. Nests are also often found around plants and shaded areas around landscaping. Big Headed Ants typically feed on sweets and honeydew from aphids. 

Treating Big Headed Ant colonies with an insecticide tends to be the most effective in controlling them.

We hope that the ants listed in this identification page will help you to identify and maybe even eliminate the problem that you are experiencing withing your home. If you need help in taking care of the problem by using one of our friendly, knowledgeable technicians, we would be happy to help! Please feel free to give us a call at (402) 734-4310.