Identifying Common West Palm Beach Ant Pests
In South Florida, we have no shortage of pests. Our tropical climate and high humidity is pe “perfect storm” when it comes to the ideal pest habitat. Of these pests, there is one insect that we have the largest variety of. No, it is not the wasps, spiders, millipedes, or any other creepy crawly that you might immediately associate with the term pest. Instead, it is the ant.
Ants are more commonly associated with ruining picnics than they are intruding in the kitchen, but the simple fact of the matter is that ants will go wherever they can find a source of water and a source of food.
In an effort to provide you with more information on the various ants that you might find in or around your West Palm Beach area home or business, your local source for West Palm Beach ant control services, Native Pest has created a list of the more common ant species that you might encounter here in South Florida, how to identify them, and what we can do to help you get rid of them. Continue reading to learn more.
The ghost ant, Tapinoma melanocephalum, is the most common ant that our ant control specialists see when treating West Palm Beach homes and Businesses for ants. Ghost ants are more commonly known as sugar ants because of their strong attraction to sugary and starchy foods.
Ghost ants are most commonly found in the bathroom or kitchen of homes, where they are looking for a source of food or water. Ghost ants are extremely small (being why “ghost” is extremely fitting) and are most often found crawling along baseboards and kitchen backsplashes.
Identifying Ghost Ants
Being that there are a variety of different ant species in the South Florida area, it is important to know the basic characteristics of each species in order to correctly diagnose an infestation. Ghost ants are extremely small, around 1/16th of an inch long. Ghost ants have dark heads and light colored legs and abdomens. Due to their size and coloration, ghost ants can be extremely hard to diagnose.
If you find ghost ants in your home or business we urge you to get in touch with us and ask about our ant control services in West Palm Beach. While ghost ants are not dangerous in any way, they don’t belong in your home. Let our team of ant control professionals keep your home or business ghost ant free — exactly how it should be.
White-footed ants, Technomyrmex difficilis, are extremely similar to the ghost ant — in the sense of their nature, that is. White-footed ants are simply a nuisance pest. Much like the ghost ant, they only enter the threshold of your home or business looking for sources of food and water. One of the largest issues regarding the white-footed ant is their colony size. Colonies can range in size anywhere from 8,000 to 3 million individuals — meaning that if you have an established property near your South Florida home or business that you might see quite a few foraging inside.
Identifying White-Footed Ants
White-footed ants are slightly larger than ghost ants, measuring around 1/8th of an inch long. As their name suggests, their distinguishing coloration is their lightly-colored feet. Additionally, white-footed ants have a one-segmented waist and a large abdomen.
If you notice the presence of white-footed ants in your home or business it is important to not be alarmed. While they may be in your home or business, they are harmless and a simple ant control treatment from our West Palm Beach ant control team can resolve the issue and prevent future populations from foraging in your home.
Caribbean crazy ants (Paratrechina pubens) and black crazy ants (Paratrechina longicornis), while similar in foraging nature to ghost ants and white-footed ants, can be a little bit more of an issue. Crazy ants are part of the “crazy ant” family because of their quick and erratic movements. Crazy ants are known to be an especially annoying pest because of their social structure and colony dynamics. Crazy ants forage like other ants, but they do so in a much different way — together. When foraging, crazy ants do so in the thousands, snaking their way through South Florida homes and businesses. Additionally, to make matters worse, they can have multiple queens in multiple locations — making their removal more difficult.
Crazy Ant Identification
Carribean crazy ants are rather easily distinguishable, being that there are completely brown and tend to show up in large numbers — following each other one by one. Carribean crazy ants can range anywhere from 1/16th to 1/8th of an inch and have a wide abdomen that appears to be fused to the thorax.
Black crazy ants usually grow to lengths of around 1/8th of an inch. Much like the Carribean crazy ant, the black crazy ant travels in large lines of thousands of ants — making them rather easy to find when an infestation has manifested itself in your South Florida home or business.
If you believe that your South Florida home or business is currently infected with crazy ants, we strongly suggest that you schedule a West Palm Beach ant treatment with our team at Native Pest Management.
Bigheaded ants, Pheidole megacephala, are one of the most successful species of invasive ants in South Florida. Bigheaded ants live in a variety of different places including wooded areas, under sidewalks, and even under piles of debris. While bigheaded ants are not harmful to humans, they can be a nuisance inside of your home when they forage for food and water.
Bigheaded Ant Identification
To put it rather simply, bigheaded ants have large heads — and that is by far their most distinguishable factor. Typically, bigheaded ants are around 1/8th of an inch in length like the white-footed ant, but their head can be up to twice the size of their abdomen. Often times if you find bigheaded ants in your home or business there is a nest nearby.
If you find bigheaded ants in your West Palm Beach area home, we urge you to schedule a property inspection and treatment with our Palm Beach County ant control service team.
Florida Carpenter Ants
In South Florida, there are two distinct species of carpenter ants, Camponotus floridanus and Camponotus tortuganus. Carpenter ants, unlike any of the other ant species that we have listed so far, are in fact more than a simple nuisance pest. Carpenter ants, as their name suggests, bore into wood causing structural damages. If carpenter ants go untreated they can end up boring thousands of holes in the structure of your West Palm Beach home or business.
Carpenter Ant Identification
Florida carpenter ants are the largest of all ant species that you might see near your West Palm Beach home or business. Florida carpenter ants can grow to over ½ an inch long — being their most distinguishable factor. Florida carpenter ants are also orange and black in color, allowing them to stand apart from other common ant species in the area.
If you see damages caused by carpenter ants or see carpenter ants on the exterior of your property, we urge you to get in touch with us for our preventative ant control services.
Fire ants, Solenopsis invicta and Solenopsis geminata, may not enter the threshold of your home or business in search of food and water, but they can still be a nuisance. Solenopsis invicta, the more common of the two fire ant species in the West Palm Beach area, is a non-native invasive ant. Known as the red imported fire ant (RIFA), the invasive pest is known for colonizing yards, horse stables, and other areas with sandy soil. If disturbed, fire ants can produce a nasty sting that can cause some people to have allergic reactions.
Fire Ant Identification
Both species of fire ants are similar in resemblance, with red and black being the two prominent distinguishing colors. Growing between 1/8th and ¼ of an inch in length, fire ants are comparable in size to most other native ants. In addition to being easily recognizable in stature, fire ant nests are also easy to recognize — as they are large mounds of dirt.
If your yard or property has fire ants or fire ant nests, we urge you to get in touch with our ant control team at Native Pest Management. Our team will treat existing nests, as well as establish preventative measures to avoid future infestations.
For West Palm Beach Ant Control Think Native Pest Management
If your West Palm Beach home or business is experiencing an ant infestation we urge you to get in touch with our team of ant control professionals. We offer a number of pet-friendly removal and preventative treatments that are designed to rid your property of pests and keep them away for good.
At Native Pest Management we believe in quality pest control, so if the first treatment does not take, we will come back to treat your home or business again for free. Contact us today for a free quote or to schedule your ant control treatment.