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4 Kinds of Ants and What They Mean

Getting Antsy?

Ants are everywhere— with more than 10,000 species of ants in the world, there’s a good chance we’re never too far from them.  Ants are an important part of the ecosystem, but they can also be a pain, which is why we want to tell our friends about some of the ants we’ll be performing pest control services for this season. 

Pavement Ants: Tetramorium caespitum

You’ve seen pavement ants—they're the guys who make those little dirt mounds you see on sidewalks.  They are also called sugar ants.  Small and brown, they like to live in parking lots, around building foundations, in stone and concrete walls, and similar.  Their favorite foods are dead insects, sweets, and crumbs of organic garbage.  The problem with larger pavement ant colonies is that they are underground, making it hard to get rid of them unless you have the right training and equipment. 

Odorous House Ants: Tapinoma sessile

These look like most other ants, small and brown, but they have a few lighter stripes if you look closely.  The odor for which they get their name is like that of rotten fruit—we think it’s closest to coconut or banana.  Also known as house ants, these ants like to nest in walls and floors, and their favorite foods are meat and sugary items.  If a colony becomes established, they can spoil food and spread bacteria. 

Citronella Ants: Lasius interjectus

Citronella ants are rather pretty, with an ochre yellow color and shiny exoskeleton.  When crushed, they emit a strong odor that smells a lot like lemon peel.  They prefer to live outside underground but like to stay close to their food sources, so they are usually seen by humans around foundations, basements, porches, etc.  Citronella ants can become a problem when the colony gets too large and the workers develop wings. 

Carpenter Ants: Camponotus pennsylvanicus

We’ve written of these before.  These are large, black ants that are usually seen indoors or near buildings.  They appear to be loners, but the ones that you see are just the workers foraging for food.  The rest live in the wood, sheetrock, and soil surrounding our structures.  If you see carpenter ants consistently, call us right away before they cause dangerous structural damage.  Check out our material on carpenter ants here and here.

The Rochester Ant Control Pros

Ants are tricky for home and business owners as it can be hard to tell what kind you’re looking at, how many of them there are, and what they’re doing.  We know our ants and what to do about them in a way that is safe for you and your animals.  For more information, check out our page detailing the substances we use, and contact us any time.  We want to hear from you!