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Common Types Of Ants In Florida

fire ant on stone in port st. lucie yard

There are plenty of different kinds of ants here in Florida, and some of them are more harmful than others. Let's take a look at some common ant pests and see what we can learn.

Ghost Ants (Nuisance ants)

This is the number-one type of nuisance ant that makes its way into homes and other structures. They are tiny, around 1/16 in length, with a dark head and thorax and a light-colored abdomen and legs, which are almost translucent. Because of their size and translucent appearance, these ants can be difficult to see, which is why they are called ghost ants.

White Footed Ants (Nuisance ants)

As you might suspect, these ants have white (yellowish-white) feet. They're around ⅛ of an inch long and have brownish-black bodies and a one-segmented waist. These ants are most active during the rainy season, and they are strongly attracted to sweet foods. But, they will also feed on dead insects and other sources of protein. This type of ant typically nests above the ground and sometimes finds openings to the interior of buildings and find its way into kitchens and bathrooms where water and sweet substances may be found.

Bigheaded Ants (Nuisance ants)

These ants are very small, measuring at around ⅛ of an inch, and they vary in color from red to brown to light yellow. They come in 2 distinctive sizes, ⅛ to ¼ an inch, which represent the minor and major workers. The minor workers' bodies are proportionate in size, whereas the major workers' heart-shaped heads are noticeably larger than the rest of their bodies.

Black Crazy Ants (Nuisance ants)

These ants are dark brown to black and around ⅛ of an inch long. They have legs and antennae that are longer than other ants of the same body size. They are active year round and are attracted to household foods that are either greasy or sweet--and are able to completely cover a food source quickly.

Caribbean Crazy Ants (Nuisance ants)

These ants are golden-brown to reddish-brown and have a smooth glossy exoskeleton. They are called "crazy" because of their swift and erratic movements. They are active year round but do not come out of their nests if the temperature is below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. But, when they do come out, they travel in groups numbering in the thousands.

Fire Ants (Stinging Ants)

These little stinging ants range in size from ⅛ to ¼ of an inch and are generally uniform in color, being dark brown to red. They're active year-round in Florida. When people or animals disturb a nest of fire ants, these ants will quickly emerge and begin stinging. There has been significant illness and even death due to an allergic reaction.

Florida Carpenter Ants (Destructive Ants)

These ants are reddish to orange, except for a black front body section. They range in size from ⅕ to ½ an inch in length. Unlike termites, that eat wood, these insects excavate wood in order to build tunnels and galleries, which they use for nesting and multiplying. If left unchecked, a carpenter ant infestation can lead to extensive and costly damages.

Ant Prevention Tips

If you have dealt with ants inside your home in the past, these prevention tips may help in keeping ants out:

  • Remove outside water sources that may draw ants and other insects close to your home. Fix leaky spigots and dry up wet areas.
  • Inspect the outside of your home for gaps or cracks where ants can squeeze through. Seal these areas using a caulking gun, liquid concrete, or other sealing material.
  • Keep all garbage in tightly sealed containers to keep smells in and insects out.
  • Thoroughly clean your home of food particles and make sure all foods are sealed in the refrigerator, freezer, or in sturdy, sealed containers.
  • Only put pet food down at mealtimes.

The best way to keep ants out of your Florida home is to partner with a professional pest control company. Nozzle Nolen has the knowledge and equipment to keep your home free from nuisance and harmful ants, as well as a whole host of other potentially dangerous pests. Reach out to us today for prompt assistance.

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