Nuisance Ants

(Family Formicidae)

Introduction: Nuisance ants are typically 1/8” to 1/4” long. They generally are brown or black in color and build their colonies in all types of soil and damp debris. They have a characteristic body shape of three segments with a “pinched neck” behind the head and a “pinched waist” in front of the abdomen. Their antennae are elbowed or L-shaped. Common nuisance ants include Argentine ants, Odorous House ants, Acrobat ants, and a few other species. You may also occasionally see ants with wings and these “winged ants” are the “reproductives” of the colony that are responsible for producing offspring, organizing colony activity, and establishing new colonies. (NOTE: It may be difficult for the average home or business owner to distinguish between “winged ants” and “winged termites.” Cook’s is happy to provide free identification of ants, termites and other pests.)

Habits: Nuisance ants typically gain our attention when they invade homes or businesses in search of food and water. They commonly enter a home through openings around windows, doors, foundation vents, and HVAC systems (such as wall air-conditioning units). Nuisance ants can be an annoyance to humans because they infest foods and possibly transmit disease after crawling over waste and refuse.

Control: Control can include several approaches. It helps to keep the outside areas near the home or business free of debris and the interior of the home or business needs to be kept free of food debris. Mechanical exclusion is another method to help control nuisance ants. This includes sealing cracks and crevices that lead into the home or business. A large, well dispersed nest can be difficult to control so, if possible, control measures should be taken when nests are small. Ants are generally scavengers that feed on a variety of food scraps which allows them to adapt to whatever food they find in our homes or businesses. A professional treatment is the best way to reduce and help prevent nuisance ants from entering your home or business. Cook’s Pest Control offers professional treatments for the reduction and prevention of nuisance ants. Our pest management professionals are thoroughly trained to address all your nuisance ant problems.

About Ants

  • Ants entering a home are typically looking for shelter or sugar and protein rich foods.
  • There are over 700 species of ants in the U.S. while only 25 species usually invade homes.
  • Pest ants have replaced cockroaches as the most difficult structural pests to control.