Ants are one of the most common pests in Texas. Arming yourself with knowledge about the ants native to Houston can help you avoid infestations before they happen. It is important to also remember that ant infestations are difficult to control – but can be eliminated with the help of a professional. So what do you need to know about Houston’s ant species?
Where They Live
When you first notice ants on your property or in your home, it is best to keep an eye out for more. It is unlikely that they are alone. Ants are a social insect and live in colonies, so it is important to try to identify the type of ant and where the colony resides. Depending on the ant species, these pests can nest in your yard or even invade your home in some circumstances. If the ants have invaded your home, they can live anywhere from in your walls, to your baseboards or countertops. Internal infestations are harder to eliminate as they are sometimes harder to find. A professional with the right equipment and expertise can help you locate and eliminate the colony.
What Species Is It?
There are thousands of ant species worldwide, but there are several species that are common to Houston. Here are the most common ants that you might come across in Houston:
Fire ants are reddish-brown in color and tend to live outdoors. Fire Ants are known for building and living in dome-shaped mounds of loose dirt. This species of ant is one that you will want to pay close attention to because they can cause medical harm to both humans and their pets. The Fire Ant species stings/bites because they are strong defenders of their nesting areas and food sources. Humans and pets can also be allergic to Fire Ant venom, so it is important to remove these colonies quickly.
Crazy Ants are known for their unique running style, making them easier to identify. They move quickly and in erratic patterns. These ants are brown in color and have visible antennae. Crazy Ants can choose to live both inside and out of your home. If indoors, nests can be found in potted plants, walls, ceilings, flooring, and trash bags. If you see Crazy Ants in your home, you should consult a pest control company. These small ants are a pain to remove!
Carpenter ants are generally larger than most other Texas ant species and can be black, brown or orange in color – which can make them somewhat difficult to identify. Carpenter ants are typically nocturnal and also can become aggressive and bite. This species of ant prefers to nest near or inside of decaying wood. The can live in wooden doors, walls, ceilings and tree trunks.
Acrobat Ants are commonly mistaken for Carpenter Ants in size and coloration, but they are active during the day instead of being nocturnal. They are called Acrobat Ants because they raise their bodies, balancing on their legs when they feel threatened. These ants typically nest outdoors in trees, ut can be found in walls and insulated areas.
Pharaoh Ants are yellow in color with dark abdomens. They typically build nests indoors in dark, narrow spaces and can be hard to find. When you do notice Pharaoh Ants in your home, you will need to consult a professional for removal. Due to their have interesting feeding habits, they do not respond to over the counter insecticides.
Odorous Ants are named for their.. Odor! When crushed, they produce a distinct odor that smells much like rotting coconut or licorice. They are small in size but can be difficult to see. They typically nest in brick walls but can be found indoors if the walls permit entry.