Ants are common in Florida homes, as many ant species thrive in subtropical humid environments. Most of the ants found in Florida homes do not live in the homes they forage in but instead, they live in nests found outside. Ants enter Florida homes in search of either sweet or greasy foods, or both. Ants need a water source to survive and are attracted to readily available water sources in your home. Ants can also enter through cracks and crevices in your foundation, as well as through holes where utility lines and plumbing lines enter homes. Carpenter ants can excavate moist or water-damaged wood.
The most common ants found in Florida homes include:
- Ghost ants – Commonly referred to as “sugar ants” they are small, at 1.5 mm long, with dark heads and white or translucent bodies that make them difficult to see. Erratic behavior gives these ants a now-you-see-them, now-you-don’t nod to their ghostly theme. They also like to forage in homes for sweet foods. With tiny, sharp teeth, sugar ants can chew through plastic bags of dry goods, ruining your stored products.
- Pharaoh ants – Range from 1/16 inch to 1/12 inch in length, with pale yellow to reddish bodies and black shading on the top and rear part of the abdomen. Foraging in strong, tightly linked trails, pharaoh ants are difficult to eliminate, as colonies have multiple queens and nesting locations. Readily nesting in leaf debris outside, pharaoh ants will nest in cabinets, voids, food boxes, and other accessible spaces indoors. They usually require professional pest control services to eradicate.
- Carpenter ants – Measuring from 1/10- 3/4 of an inch long, Florida carpenter ants appear reddish-brown with a brown or black abdomen. Carpenter ant bites are painful to humans and pets so take extra care when dealing with them. Carpenter ants build their nests in pre-existing voids in walls or in damp and moisture-weakened wood they can burrow into. While they burrow into wood, they do not eat the wood as termites do. With satellite nests in your yard, carpenter ants are difficult to eliminate.
- Big-headed ants – Invasive, ranging from 1.5 to 4.5 mm long, dark brown to shades of red to light yellow, big-headed ants are bi-morphic, with major workers having larger heads than the minor workers. Building super-colonies, or a network of nests, with multiple queens that can reproduce year-round, big-headed ants can wreak havoc on your lawn and landscape.
- White-footed ants – Medium-small, 2.5-3 mm long, black to brownish-black, with yellowish-white feet, are among the most common of South Florida ants. Posing no health threats to humans, their large colonies trail on the exterior of buildings, invading homes through cracks and crevices, infesting kitchens and bathrooms, in search of moisture and sweets.
If ants are driving you crazy in your South Florida home, you can rely on the local pest control expert with over 60 years of experience to solve your problem, Petri Pest Control Services. Contact us today to schedule your free pest inspection!
Are Ants Common In Florida Homes in South Florida
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