Common Ants in Florida
November 7, 2018
Living in Florida has a lot of perks, one of the greatest being its lack of bad winters. Along with these perks, however, come some downfalls. With temperatures that stay warm even through winter, many of the pests that northern states get a break from remain active all year long here.
One of those pests is the ant. Many different types of ant are active and common in Florida. If you find that you are battling ants in your home, it helps to know what kind they are in order to treat them effectively. Below are some of the most common ants in Florida, the problems they cause, and how to prevent them.
Common Ants in Florida and the Problems They Cause
Ghost Ants are one of the most common ants in Florida. They get their name from the fact that they are so hard to see. They are tiny in size, only about 1/16 of an inch. Their abdomen and legs are light in color, causing them to have a ghostly appearance.
These ants are attracted to sweet foods, so you’re likely to see them in your kitchen. They often travel in a line, following their own scent trail. While not dangerous, ghost ants will infest food packages if given the opportunity.
Fire Ants are perhaps the most dangerous to your health of all the ant species. They range in size from ⅛ to ¼ of an inch in length. Brownish-red in color, they are most likely to be found in warm areas with high humidity. Fire ants eat a variety of foods, including items that are sweet and greasy, as well as meat and other insects.
Fire Ants build dome-shaped mounds in the dirt and they will attack if they feel threatened. If you accidentally step on a mound, worker ants will swarm out to sting the intruder. Allergic reactions to these stings are no uncommon. In these cases, one can be seriously injured and even die due to fire ant stings if treatment is not administered quickly.
Carpenter Ants are the largest of the common Florida ants. They grow to about ½ an inch in length and the swarmers have wings. They prefer sugary foods and will also eat other insects.
Carpenter Ants are a major problem if they infest your home. They dig tunnels and build nests within the wood of your home, damaging important structural elements in your house and potentially causing thousands of dollars in damage.
How to Prevent Common Florida Ants
There are several things you can do to make your home and property uninviting to ants:
- Consider your outdoor food sources. If you’ve landscaped with fruit trees or other sweet plants, ants will be on your property.
- Keep moisture levels low around your home. Not only are fire ants attracted to moisture, but carpenter ants love water-damaged wood. Taking care of moisture issues will help reduce the potential for an ant infestation in your home.
- Check the perimeter of your home for entry points. Repair any cracks in the foundation, holes in the siding, and gaps around doors and windows, as these all create easy access to your home. Cover all vents with very fine mesh.
- Inside, keep all food stored in airtight containers or in the refrigerator.
- Clean counter tops, wipe up spills, and wash dishes frequently.
- Sweep and vacuum daily.
What to Do if You Still Have an Ant Problem
If you find that these prevention tips have not kept the ants away, call the professional pest control experts at Nozzle Nolen. We diagnose and treat your ant problem, whether it’s simply a case of nuisance ants or the more dangerous and destructive fire or carpenter ants.
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