The Most Common Types Of Ants In Port St. Lucie
September 15, 2023
South Florida is a paradise for many of its residents and visitors. Unfortunately, it's also heavenly for another type of inhabitant: ants.
Just like people seeking sunny surf and turf, ants can enter homes looking for water and food. Although seeing one or two ants may seem harmless 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 across the United States. Some species are relatively harmless, while others can cause physical harm. 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 in Port St. Lucie
Sugar ants are any type of ant that prefers sweet substances over other types of food.
As other pests like aphids 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 most types of sugar ants.
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 sugar ants could use them to cross into your home.
Once inside, sugar ants are usually spotted first in the kitchen or bathrooms — they're 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 can be easily identified if they swarm over sweet foods. A drop of pancake syrup or a cake crumb will draw in many of them.
Ghost Ants in Port St. Lucie
One such type of sugar ant is the ghost ant. Ghost ants can be identified by their distinct pale coloring.
True to their name, ghost ants seemingly appear out of thin air. Their small size and pale appearance make them difficult to spot. Ghost ants are the most common type of sugar ant in Port St. Lucie, and often invade kitchens and pantries in search of sugary foods.
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. In homes with dark granite countertops, they can be virtually invisible unless they're inspected with a flashlight.
Acrobat Ants in Port St. Lucie
Acrobat ants sound like they can be fun to watch — and they are, in a way. Acrobat ants have distinct, heart-shaped abdomens that they raise over their heads when threatened. The sight is akin to a gymnast performing a trick, hence their name.
Most acrobat ants are black or light brown and 2.6 to 3.2 mm long. They have slender bodies, and their heart-shaped abdomens are usually darker than the rest of their bodies.
Acrobat ants prefer to nest outdoors — often in dead trees, stumps, or rotting logs. However, they sometimes wander into homes in search of food and water. When nesting in homes, acrobat ants choose spots near damp or rotting wood, often around windows and drain spouts.
Argentine Ants in Port St. Lucie
Argentine ants are a type of "trailing ant," meaning they tend to walk in a literal line — exactly how you'd typically picture an ant trail. This behavior is beneficial for the ants, as it helps them stay together as a group and find food sources quickly and efficiently. It also means that when you see Argentine ants, it's common to see them in long trails.
Argentine ants are shiny and either dark brown or black. Worker ants can grow to about 2.6mm in length. They usually live in large-scale colonies.
Carpenter Ants in Port St. Lucie
Carpenter ants can be a huge problem if left unchecked. These structurally damaging pests can seriously threaten your home. Carpenter ants take up residence deep into the wood of your house, destroying any wet and decaying wood in the process. If you suspect any potential carpenter nest areas, knock on the wood (no pun intended). If you hear a hollow sound, it's a good indicator that it's a carpenter ant nest.
They signal their presence by leaving behind fine sawdust from the wood they bite through when they build their nests. Take note that if you see frass in your home, it could also be a sign of termites.
Carpenter ants are the largest species of ants that live in the United States. They can grow up to 16 mm long. They're usually either red or black in color.
If you suspect your home has a carpenter ant infestation, it's best to get in touch with a pest control company as soon as possible to stop any further damage to your house's framework.
Pavement Ants in Port St. Lucie
Pavement ants aren't native to the Port St. Lucie, FL area, but that hasn't stopped them from making it their home. Their large numbers can intimidate and worry people, but they aren't aggressive to humans unless provoked.
They're usually found traveling in long lines when they bring food back to their nests. Like most ants, they crave sugary foods, but also take to grease and meat. Their nests are often found in pavement and cement cracks.
Argentine ants are often black or dark brown, and measure about 3 mm in length.
Pharaoh Ants in Port St. Lucie
If you notice small, light-yellowish ants marching across your kitchen counter, you may be dealing with pharaoh ants. Pharaoh ants get their name from the mistaken idea that they were one of the plagues of ancient Egypt. They're common worldwide and are known to be one of the most difficult household ants to control.
Pharaoh ants are yellow or light brown, almost transparent in appearance. They're one of the smallest ant species, measuring from 1.5 to 2 mm in length. Another identifying feature is their tendency to chew holes in silk and nylon.
How to Prevent Ants in Port St. Lucie
We always say that prevention is the best form of pest control, and that's true for any ant species. While some species require slightly different methods, here are some reliable ways to prevent ants in Port St. Lucie:
- Prevent Entry: Seal all possible entry points around your home — including small openings around doors and windows.
- Maintain Hygiene: Keep floors and counters clean and free of crumbs or other food residue.
- Food Sources: Store food in airtight containers and regularly dispose of garbage.
- Water Sources: Remove any sources of standing water you may have outside.
- Prevent Bridges: Keep tree branches and shrubbery trimmed and away from the house so that they don't form "bridges" that ants can use to access your home.
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, it may be time to contact a local pest control company.
Native Pest Management can identify and prevent the many species of ants in Port St. Lucie, FL. Our pet safe and eco-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 with the peace of mind that ants won't return. Let us do the dirty work while you enjoy your life in the sun.