SPRING SUNSHINE SENDS ANTS SEARCHING INDOORS
Hulett Environmental reveals common ant species that are more than just a nuisance
When spring arrives, ants often become a nuisance for homeowners as they move indoors in search of food. And, with more than 700 species in the United States, Hulett Environmental says it’s likely most people will encounter this pest during the warmer months.
As the temperature continues to rise across the country, homeowners might start to find tiny ants crawling around throughout the home. This pest can be a nuisance, but most people don’t realize that certain ant species also pose health and property risks depending on geography.
The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) encourages homeowners to be on the lookout for the following ant species this spring:
Argentine Ants: Colonies of Argentine ants are found throughout the southeastern parts of the U.S. and California usually in wet environments near a food source. Argentine ants do not pose a health threat, but they can contaminate food and give off a musty odor when crushed.
Carpenter Ants: This aggressive species of ant is found nationwide, especially in the northern region. Carpenter ants attack wood and can cause severe property damage, which is usually not covered by homeowners’ insurance.
Crazy Ants: First found in Texas in 2002, crazy ants have spread to other southern states, nesting in both dry and moist habitats. This species does not pose a health threat, but they can become a nuisance.
Odorous House Ants: This species is found in every region of the U.S. and commonly nests in basements, crawl spaces and adjacent structures. Odorous house ants do not pose a health risk, but they give off a strong, rotten coconut-like smell when crushed.
Pavement Ants: These black ants are found throughout the eastern portion of the U.S., and in California and Washington. They get their name from making nests in or under cracks in pavement. Pavement ants can contaminate food and should be avoided.
Red Imported Fire Ants: These red ants are found in the southeastern U.S., from Virginia to Texas, as well as California and New Mexico. They are commonly introduced to new areas through potted plants, shrubbery and trees. Fire ants will sting humans who disturb a nest, often causing painful welts.
If you suspect an ant infestation, contact a licensed pest professional to identify the species and recommend a course of treatment. For more information on ants, please visit www.bugs.com