All About Ants

Ants are a force to be reckoned with. There are more than 12,000 species of ants living on Earth, and all of them possess the capability to bite. A closer look at the numbers is even more alarming; scientists estimate over 25 quadrillion ants roam the planet, compared to only 8 billion humans. While clearly outnumbered, we don't have to worry about all of them at once. Only some species can bite or sting humans, and even fewer cause allergic reactions. How do you know which ants are the problems for your home or property? MosquitoNix® can help you identify and eliminate ant pests, so you don't have to be an expert.

Which Ants Bite and Sting

If you or your children have ever stood in a raised mound of dirt and instantly regretted it, chances are you have encountered biting or stinging ants. Here are the species you may have seen lurking around your home:

  • Red Imported Fire Ants - These ants are "imported" because they're originally native to South America and have since made their way to the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and other Caribbean and Asian countries. These ants are incredibly resilient and can thrive in many types of habitats. You can identify a red fire ant nest by searching for mounds that are about 2 to 4 square feet in size and have an irregular, flattened shape. If you disturb their nest, you can expect to receive several nasty bites from multiple fire ants. These are among some of the most painful bites you can receive from any ant.
  • Harvester Ants - If you live at a high elevation and have a home built on sandy soil, there is a good chance you could have harvester ants. While these large ants don't generally invade homes, they do build large mounds in wide-open lawns. They are not as aggressive as fire ants, but harvester ants can also deliver a painful sting and cause severe allergic reactions for some people. Their mounds are also detrimental to any well-manicured lawn.
  • Acrobat Ants - These ants get their name from their tendency to "acrobatically" raise their abdomens over their heads. The tiny ants are easy to identify by their heart-shaped abdomens. They typically nest outdoors in dead wood but can also invade your home in search of food. It's also common for acrobat ants to nest in homes that have already been infested by carpenter ants or termites.

  • Carpenter Ants - Carpenter ants are one of the most destructive and invasive species of ant found in the U.S. They're also one of the largest, growing up to 13 millimeters long. These burrowing ants tunnel into damp wood to build their nests and can threaten the integrity of your home by slowly eating away the wood from the inside. They also deliver a painful bite when threatened.
  • Field Ants - These ants will not nest in your home, but they will create exceptionally large mounds in your yard. These anthills can measure up to 4 feet wide and 2 feet tall and are tricky to eradicate. When disturbed, these ants also have a painful bite.
  • Crazy Ants - Crazy ants are another species that have migrated from South America. Because they aren't native to the U.S., they have no natural predators and will continue to multiply at an overwhelming rate without intervention. While they do bite, the pain is mild and quick to diminish.

Which Ants Have Wings

Only about 8% of ant species have wings, but nearly every ant colony can develop wings and fly around, scouting out areas to expand their numbers. Swarms of flying ants indicate that an ant colony has sent out breeders to search for a new breeding ground. These winged ants are called "alates" and are not dangerous. You can also expect to see them only at certain times of the year when reproduction is a priority.

Learn which ants will attack when they feel threatened to help determine the severity of the ant problem at your home or business. Of course, you don't have to wait for ants to bite or sting! Instead, learn more about our ant control and other pest control services for commercial and residential properties. Contact MosquitoNix® in your area to get started today!