Amazing varieties of Ants , its infestation & eradication tips

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What Are Ants

Ants are tiny creatures that live in colonies. Their family consists of male ants, worker ants and queen ant. A queen ant mates with its male partner to lay eggs throughout its life andcreate worker ants that in turn work to feed the queen ant.

These worker ants are filled into the colony by the queen ant and the colony grows in size as long as the queen ant is present.

It is an adult and the size is almost double or triple the size of other ants in the colony. This article guides about different ant species, their infestation and remedies.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ants

carpenter-antsCarpenter ants are also referred as sugar ants or sweet ants and are large in size. These are native of forest areas of different parts of the world. They work together to build their nests inside dead or damp wood.

Problems

Carpenter ants damage your furniture by creating tunnels through the wood. The main intention behind tunneling is to either build nests or to create a commuting channel to get to another nesting site.

Carpenter ants do not feed on wood and hence leave behind piles of sawdust while boring holes into the wooden structures.

Symptoms

Identifying carpenter ant infestation is quite easy if you are aware of the kind of damage that these ants do to your property. Some of them are listed below:

  • Wood that is damaged due to carpenter ant infestation sounds hollow when you tap it.
  • From inside the infested wood, you can hear sounds of faint rustling, you can hear sounds of faint rustling.
  • When you try to penetrate a sharp knife into the infested wood, it seems to be very easy.
  • The surface of the wood appears to be full of irregular and smooth galleries which are free of debris.

Remedies

You can control carpenter ant infestation by making use of chemical sprays and insecticides. These are available in the form of dusts, baits, chemicals in liquid concentrated form and foams.

You can apply or spray them near the entry and exit points of the colony to eradicate them.

Black Ants

Black Ants

types-of-antsThese are tiny creatures in either black, jet black or dark brown color. These are a native of throughout the areas of United States.

These ants sting but the effect is almost negligible except few temporary rashes that might smudge after some time.

These are omnivorous species that feed on sweets, honey, oily foods, insects and plant secretions.

Problems

Black ant infestation might not be a great threat of damage to your properties, but yes, they feed on the food you eat and create hassle.

They build their nests in gaps and cracks of your sealing, exterior walls and sometimes inside the foundation of your house.

Symptoms

Black ant infestation is generally visible in the open. They crawl in the kitchen, bathrooms and cabinets in order to search for their food.

If they find any cracks in the walls, they enter these gaps to build their nests to store their food.

Remedies

You can eradicate black ants by spraying boric acid near their entry and exit points. Also, you need to replace their favorite food to elsewhere to discourage them.

Red Velvet Ants

Red Velvet Ants

red-velvet-antsRed velvet ants are not really ants and they belong to wasp family. However, they are still referred to as velvet ants as their skin is smooth like velvet.

The female ants do not have wings and they appear and behave like ants while, the males appear and behave like wasps.

The sting of a female velvet ant is so painful that it can kill a cow. Hence, these ants are also termed as ‘Cow Killer Ants’.

Problems

These ants are quite rare to be found and do not contribute much to the damage of your properties. They mostly prefer to reside in fields and pastures with sandy soil where they find their prey.

If a sting causes huge rashes or difficulty in breathing, the victim should be immediately attended by a doctor.

Symptoms

Velvet ants usually travel alone and usually sting to defend themselves. They mostly prefer to stay underground and are rarely available in plentiful to create nuisance. They do not feed on plants though found in yards.

Remedies

Since these ants cause no much damage, their extermination is not warranted. However, you can still control them by making use of aerosol sprays for wasps and bees.

Since they are found mostly in single and are not aggressive, you can leave them undisturbed until you want to really get rid of them.

Fire Ants

Fire Ants

fire-antsFire ants are mainly red in color and their sting is quite painful, and hence the name. A typical fire ant feeds mostly on young plants and seeds.

They produce large mounds in open areas. They often attack small creatures and kill them. Their sting is so painful like a fire burn sensation and it might prove deadly for sensitive people.

Problems

Fire ants infest buildings and damage electrical equipment by chewing the insulation over the wirings. They are always present in large groups and grow very fast into huge colonies.

Their eradication is possible only to certain extent as you cannot treat all the infested areas.

Symptoms

You can identify fire ant infestation by looking at damaged electrical equipment, and tunnels inside the walls of the buildings. Since their existence is quite in the open, you can find them easily.

Remedies

You can make use of insecticides and sprays as baits to eradicate them. Other steps include pouring boiling water near their colonies, spraying organic products like citrus oil, spinosad, d-limonene etc.

Flying Ants

Flying Ants

flying-antFlying ants, also termed as winged ants or alates or swarmers or reproductive. They have elbowed antennae and this distinguishes these insects from flying termites that have straight antennae.

Problems

Flying ant infestation proves to be a threat to home lawns. However, the damage is minor, where the soil in the turf is loosened in order to construct small mounds in the nesting areas.

Symptoms

These ants are often found to be infesting under warm concrete slabs.

Remedies

You can eliminate flying ants by spraying boric acid near the entry points of their colonies. Also, you can make use of peppermint spray, aerosol spray or dish wash soap to dehydrate them. If you find any food waste lying around, remove them in order to discourage the ants.

Crazy Ants

Crazy Ants

crazy-antsCrazy ants are known for their erratic behavior and anxious movements. The worker crazy ants are omnivorous and hence feed on both insects and plant secretions.

These species dwell in both indoors and outdoors and forage long distances from their nests. Hence, it is quite difficult to identify their colonies.

Problems

These ants create hassle when stay in plenty. They are mostly found in the yards, and love to have sweet food apart from having live or dead insects. Hence, if you find them attacking your food, they might turn out to be unhygienic.

Symptoms

You can identify crazy ant infestation if you find them in large groups entering and exiting from their nests, foraging for food and water.

Remedies

There is no perfect remedy solution to these ants and EPA is still working on to develop a protocol in order to control them. However, some of the methods introduced by them proved to be partly successful.

These steps include maintaining cleanliness around your surroundings, removing food and water sources to discourage them, and blocking entry points of their nests in your home. Some of the insecticides also work to some extent to exterminate them.

Queen Ants

Queen Ant

queen-antA queen ant is an adult and is a reproducing female ant in the colony. It mates with male and lays eggs throughout its life to create a colony of worker ants.

Problems

A queen ant is the source for their colony and is always kept safe by its worker ants. It doesn’t have enemies within its colony. However, the members of another colony might sound to be a threat to the life of the queen ant.

Hence, even if you eradicate worker ants, the colony size still rises as long as the queen ant is alive and the damages to the infested areas continue.

Symptoms

An ant colony is not possible without a queen ant. Its size is sometimes dozens of times larger than its worker ants. Infestations occur through worker ants that work for the welfare of their queen ants.

Remedies

There is no specific remedy to eradicate queen ant. It hides itself inside the nest where the worker ants work to bring food for their mother.

Its size is the largest among the members of its colony. If you happen to find it, you can spray insecticide to stop the colony growth permanently.

Harvester Ants

Harvester Ants

harvester-antsHarvester ants exist in three different species:

  • Red harvester ants
  • Western harvester ants
  • California harvester ants

All three of them have different behavior, feeding and nesting patterns. Their castes and defense mechanisms too are different.

Problems

These ants are very aggressive and their stings are poisonous. The venom potency differs with different harvester ant species.

Symptoms

Mounds that are as large as 53 inches and denuded vegetation near the nest are the best signs of harvester ant infestation.

Remedies

Nest toxicants and poisoned baits give best solution in exterminating harvester ant colonies. Another method is to wait for rain after which, these ants find it difficult to invade into their tunnels.

Then, pour a minimum of two to three gallons of boiled water on the mounds to clear the colony.

Blue Ants

Blue Ants

blue-antsBlue ants have a distinctive metallic blue body and red legs. Their stings give a severe burning sensation and cause heavy rashes on sensitive skins. Sometimes, they can even prove to be life threatening.

Problems

These ants feed on flowers and hence cause a damage to your garden.

Symptoms

If  you find that the flowers in your garden with lifeless petals, then you can doubt blue ant infestation. They create their nests in the ground and feed on flowers.

Remedies

Try to discourage them by replacing the flower pots. You can also make use of insecticide and pest sprays to eradicate them completely. However, you need to be careful enough to not to damage your garden while attempting to eradicate these ants.

Bull Ants

Bull Ants

bull-antsThe bull ants, also termed as giant ants, soldier ants or bull dog ants are adults and are generally found as individuals. These are one of the world’s largest ants and hence the name giant ants.

They are solitary predators and are usually non-cooperative to one another. They are very aggressive and their stings are severely burning.

Problems

The sting of a bull ant is quite burning but the pain vanishes within few minutes. These ants sting again and again to defend themselves and generally feed on insects and plant secretions.

Hence, they can damage your garden, yard and enter kitchen where they find their favorite food.

Symptoms

They construct nests under the ground and create tunnels for commuting. If you happen to find them in your yard, then you can analyze the direction of their movement to find their nests.

Remedies

You can keep them away by maintaining clean and hygienic environment within your surroundings. You also need to maintain landscape to be unfriendly with them.

You can make use of baits, aerosol and liquid insecticides to exterminate their colonies.

Piss Ants

Piss Ants

piss-antsPiss ants, also called as pissant are indoor ant species. The name piss ant originated due to the urine like odour produced by their nesting material.

Their venom consists of formic acid and these ants are often irritated and annoyed.

Problems

The utmost damage caused by these ants is an attack on kitchen food, especially food that contains sugar.

Symptoms

These tiny ants feed on sugar and are easily found where their favorite food exists. Hence, you can find them in your kitchen.

Remedies

You can eliminate these ants by making use of boric acid, insecticide sprays, baits or even by pouring boiling water on their mounds.

Water Ants

Water Ants

water-antsWater ants are mostly found near wet and damp areas where there is lot of moist content. They can be often found near unhygienic wet areas. They create their nests in damp wood and find insects as their prey.

Problems

These ants drill holes into damp wood and love to live in moist areas. They feed on rotten food and dead insects that are mostly found in unhygienic areas. If your yard contains damp wood, then there is a threat for water ant infestation.

Symptoms

If you find damp wood that sounds hollow when tapped, then you can doubt water ant infestation. They create their commuting channels within the damp wood and store their food.

Remedies

You can spray strong insecticides near their colonies. Also, you can place baits near the entry and exit points of their nests to eradicate them. In order to find instant solution, you can pour two to three gallons of boiled hot water on their mounds.

Conclusion

Ants exist in more than 200 species and you can always find them existing in colonies. Some of them are not dangerous while some of the species turn out to be deadly dangerous. They sting to pierce venom into the skin which results in burning sensation.

Their infestation does not cause severe damage but sometimes they drill holes into the wood to create their tunnels to carry food.

Their existence in colonies is surely a hassle and hence their elimination is important. You can exterminate most of the ant species by making use of baits, insecticide sprays or pour boiled water on their mounds.