The Most Common Types Of Ants In Port St. Lucie, FL
March 03, 2022
South Florida is a paradise for many of its residents and visitors. It’s seemingly heavenly for another kind of inhabitant: ants.
Just like people seeking sunny surf and turf, ants can enter homes looking for water and food. Although their presence might seem benign at first, they can soon create multiple colonies within a home. Their insignificant presence can grow out of control in a short amount of time.
Ants can be found all across the United States. Some species are relatively harmless while others can cause physical harm. The most common types of ants include sugar and ghost ants.
When you learn how to identify the major types of ant species, you’ll be better prepared to manage them to keep your Port St. Lucie home and family safe.
Let's dive into the different ant species to watch out for in Port St. Lucie, FL.
Sugar ants thrive in tropical climates, making them one of the most common types of all ants in Florida.
Sugar ants are attracted to plants. As they feed on plants, they secrete a substance called honeydew. A black, mold-type substance that grows on leaves, honeydew can become a food source for ghost ants – another pest Floridians tend to fight.
If your house is surrounded by palm trees, then there may be ant trails going up the trunks toward the palm fronds where honeydew resides. If any of the palm fronds touch your house, then it’s just as possible that sugar ants are using them to cross into your home.
Once inside, sugar ants can usually be spotted first in the kitchen or bathrooms. They are attracted to moisture. Any standing water on countertops and in sinks can act as magnets. Condensation on water lines can also draw them deeper into your house.
Sugar ants will usually colonize wall voids or the spaces between cabinets and baseboards. Tracking them to these cramped spaces can be difficult.
Sugar ants can be easily identified if they swarm over sweet foods. A drop of pancake syrup or a cake crumb can draw in large numbers of the pests.
Many people believe they have sugar ant problems when in reality they’re dealing with ghost ants. Both types of ants are similar.
Ghost ants love warm weather. Since sugar ants will leave honeydew on leaves, ghost ants will flock to the food and can make their way into houses where they can search for more food and flee unfavorable weather. Like sugar ants, they live in wall voids and the dark spaces behind cabinetry and baseboards. Since ghost ants can have multiple colonies and queens, they can have separate colonies throughout a home – even if there are no ant trails between the colonies.
Ghost ants are between 1.3 to 1.5 millimeters long. The top halves of ghost ants are typically dark brown with their bottom halves appearing to be either an opaque, white, or yellow color. The size and coloring of these ants make them difficult to see. In homes with dark granite countertops, they can be virtually invisible unless they’re inspected with a flashlight.
Acrobat ants sound like they can be fun to watch, but their bite and odor prove otherwise. An acrobat ant can raise its abdomen over its thorax and head when it is disturbed. This movement isn’t the only thing they can do when they feel threatened. They will bite and emit a foul odor.
Most acrobat ants are black or light brown and 1/16th to 1/8th of an inch long. They have a dual-segmented section that is attached to the front portion of the abdomen. They also have a pair of spines on the thorax. Their abdomens resemble hearts.
They are attracted to honeydew as well as living and dead insects. Their nesting sites can be found in moist wood. When they invade a house, they can reside in similar places where sugar and ghost ants live.
Argentine ants are an invasive species, but generally not harmful to humans. However, they will enter houses to look for food and water. Not only are they attracted to honeydew, but they can also actually protect honeydew-producing insects, helping the cycle of production – and perpetuating the cycle of attracting pests.
Argentine ants are shiny and either dark brown or black. Worker ants can grow to about 1/16th of an inch in length. When they are crushed, they release an unpleasant musty odor. They usually live in large-scale colonies. When they search for food, they walk in wide trails.
The common black ant is also known as the black garden ant. They are 3 to 5 millimeters long and are glossy black. Their nests are normally found underground or beneath rocks. They can nest in rotten wood.
They feed on honeydew and other insects but are mostly harmless. Despite their mild nature, their presence can be off-putting like any other pest.
Carpenter ants can be a huge problem if left unchecked. These structurally damaging pests can seriously threaten your property. They can take up residence deep into the wood of your house, destroying any wet and decaying wood in the process. They betray their presence by leaving behind fine sawdust from the wood they bite through when they build their nests.
Carpenter ants are the largest species of ants that live in the United States. They can grow up to 5/8th of an inch long. They are either red or black.
If you suspect your home has a carpenter ant infestation, you should get in touch with a pest control company as soon as possible to stop any further damage to your house’s framework.
Odorous House Ants
When crushed, odorous house ants smell like rotten coconuts or an off-kilter pine scent. They’re most often seen inside homes after a rainstorm.
The dark brown and black insects can be up to 1/8th of an inch in length. They can contaminate food, making their elimination essential. You and members of your household can get sick if you eat such food. Getting rid of odorous house ants before they cause a problem helps keep the people you care about healthy.
Pavement ants are not native to the Port St. Lucie, FL area, but that hasn’t stopped them from making a home in your home. Their large numbers can intimidate and worry people. However, they aren’t dangerous.
They’re usually found traveling in long lines when they bring food back to their nest. Like most ants, they crave sugary foods, but also take to grease and meat. Their nests are often found in pavement and cement cracks.
The workers will probably be the ones you’ll see. They can be dark brown or black. They are 1/8th of an inch long.
Like carpenter and odorous house ants, pharaoh ants can be harmful if they’re left to take over a home. Don’t let their small size fool you – pharaoh ants carry bacteria, pathogens, and parasites. They can contaminate your food if they make contact. You and your family can get very sick if that food is eaten.
Pharaoh ants are yellow or light brown, almost transparent in appearance. They can be up to 1/16th of an inch in length. Another identifying feature is their propensity to chew holes in silk and nylon.
Ant Extermination In Port St. Lucie, FL
Identifying the ants invading your Port St. Lucie property is critical to effective elimination. If you’re not sure what ant species has infested your home, consult with a professional.
Ants are persistent. Pest control methods can vary depending on the specific ant infestation. Baits might be successful, but their results require time. They allow worker ants to carry poison back to their colony. From there, the ant colony is the trap. Once the queen is fed the poison, she’ll eventually die and the rest of the colony will follow.
Sprays, however, aren’t as effective. They can kill ants on contact, but won’t infiltrate a colony like trap poison. Sprays and baits can be dangerous to people and pets. They should be used with caution.
Ant Prevention In Port St. Lucie
Prevention can help stave off an infestation. Cutting off ants’ food sources can reduce the likelihood of them entering your home and staying. Securely storing food and regularly removing garbage can deter ants.
Ant Control In Port St. Lucie, FL
If you’ve tried numerous methods to get rid of your ant problem and nothing seems to work, then you should contact a pest control company.
Native Pest Management can identify and prevent the many species of ants in Port St. Lucie, FL. Our pet-safe and environmentally friendly pest control solutions can keep your family and your home safe from ants and other pests.
We provide full-service, same-day pest control as well as ongoing preventative treatments to provide you the peace of mind that ants won't return. Let us do the dirty work while you enjoy your life in the sun.
Request your free quote below.
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