Anyone living in the United States has had some kind of contact with ants. With over 700 species found in the country they are one of the most common pests that frequently infest homes and businesses. There are quite a few ant species to California but there are four that are most common to invading the homes and businesses; Argentine ants, carpenter ants, pharaoh ants and thief ants. We at Animal Pest Management would like to take the opportunity to briefly discuss the basics of these common ants found in your California home or business.
Common Household Ants in Southern California
Argentine Ants: Originating from South America, these ants have immigrated to almost every continent across the world and the United States is among them. Argentine Ants are of the top 100 worst animal invaders because of their widespread status. Theses ants are especially a threat in California as they raid other ant species, wiping them out and establishing a super-colony of their own. Argentine Ants are approximately 1/8” long and are generally a dull brown color. When they are crushed, a musty odor is emitted. They are drawn to sweets, oils, and the buds of a few plants. They favor honeydew excretions of aphids especially and will go to great lengths to enjoy their favorite treats by protecting the aphids.
Carpenter Ants: Carpenter ants are not only common to the borders of California, but all of the country. These ants are rightly named as their colony nests in wet wood, where they excavate the interior creating tunnels, known as galleries, for their brood. These ants are one of the bigger species ranging from ¼” – ½” long. Carpenter ants are typically black but some might have a little reddish or yellowish color with the black. They are often confused with termites, but unlike termites they do not eat the wood. Carpenter ants indulge in sweets, other insects and honeydew. Usually, carpenter ants will provide a nest for their colony outside, sticking to dead trees, firewood stacks, tree stumps, or wooden fences but can just as easily create colonies in the wood of buildings, establishing established in window and door frames, subfloors, and hollow doors.
Pharaoh Ants: Particularly tiny, only averaging 1/16” long, pharaoh ants are typically yellow, orange, or a honey-colored. These ants are partial to sweets, fats, proteins, and other insects in their diet. If the colony grows too big or the nest gets disturbed, they will move the colony and are very mobile. They chose to live in cracks or crevices behind walls, baseboards, or settle inside curtain rods, clothing folds, and insulation.
Thief Ants: Rightfully named, thief ants are known for having thief-like habits like stealing food and ant larvae from the other ant colonies they purposely nest close to. They are sometimes referred to as grease ants because of their fondness for grease. These ants will also include proteins, dead insects, as well as dead rodents in their diet. Thief ants are exceptionally small ranging in size from 1/32” to 1/8” in length and are typically a yellowish-brown color. They will generally nest under rocks, in decaying wood, inside wall or cabinets voids, and behind baseboards.
Ant Inspections, Control, Removal, Exclusion & More in San Bernardino, Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside & San Diego Counties, California
Other ant species considered pests in Southern California include the harvester ant, little black ant, odorous house ant, red imported fire ant, Southern fire ant and velvety tree ant. When ants invade homes, it can be a challenge to remove them effectively without professional assistance. But with the services of Animal Pest Management, we will utilize our expertise and quality products to ensure ants and other pests are efficiently removed. Contact us today!