Ant Identification & Treatment
Ants are social insects that typically live in colonies in the ground. They are commonly found outdoors but will enter buildings seeking food and shelter. Ants start searching for nutritional resources as early as February and March. They can be identified by their three distinct body regions including the head, thorax and abdomen. Ants are known for having a cinched waist and elbowed antennae. Although there are thousands of varieties of ants, there are a few that are commonly found in Wichita, Kansas and surrounding areas.
Odorous House Ants
Odorous House Ants are very commonly found invading structures. Their nests are usually established near a water source so they are often found in crevices and wall voids in kitchens and bathrooms. Odorous House Ants travel in trails and prefer sweets. Although, they will eat almost any household food. They are small, dark ants that have a foul smell when crushed.
Carpenter Ants typically hollow out galleries in wood to nest. They will choose decayed wood as well as sturdy wood depending on what’s available. Their nests can result in wood damage so they are considered a wood-destroying insect. They are larger than some of the other common ants found in Kansas. They also produce swarmers, much like termites, but there are some distinct differences to tell them apart. Signs of carpenter ants can be the ants themselves, swarming ants with wings, wood damage and sawdust or wood shavings.
Acrobat Ants have a pointed, heart shaped abdomen that they raise up when disrupted. Typically, they nest outdoors under stones, logs, firewood and around foliage that readily has aphids or mealybugs. They also nest indoors in decaying wood or areas with excessive moisture.
Pavement Ants are commonly found along cracks in landscaping bricks and concrete. Occasionally, they will invade structures but will usually be found near the foundation or stone or brick work along the home and under slabs. These ants search for meats and grease as a food source. They specifically feed on other insects, so the outdoors are favorable for this food source.