- Velvety tree ants: These ants are covered in fine hairs, which is how they get their name. Tree stumps and logs make great homes for these ants, which is why they are often mistaken for carpenter ants. Still, they can also make their way inside and quickly infest homes and other buildings.
- Pharaoh ants: Perhaps the only ant that poses a real threat to human health, these ants are also particularly annoying because they can find their way in just about anywhere. They have even been found inside hospitals, in patient IVs and wounds. Pharaoh ants carry and transmit diseases such as salmonella and streptococcus, which is particularly harmful when they are found in or near the site of wounds.
Many people think that winged ants are a separate type of ant, but they are not. Carpenter ants, for example, swarm in late spring and early summer in order to find mates and create a new colony. Winged ants do not pose a greater threat to humans than their counterparts that do not have wings, but seeing a significant amount of these pests around a property likely indicates an infestation.
Nesting Places for Ants
Homeowners sometimes wonder if they have an ant problem even when they do not see the critters on a regular basis. When this is the case, there are some places ants commonly nest and checking in these areas can help determine if a homeowner has an ant problem. The most common places for ants to nest include:
- Wood piles
- Cracks in the pavement
- Around fallen trees, landscaping ties, and inside tree stumps
Indoors, ants are most commonly found under floors, behind walls, in crawl spaces, behind large appliances, and in and around heating systems.
Causes of Ant Problems
Ants are constantly in search of food and water, which is the main reason people find them in their home. Ants are most likely to venture into a structure when there are spills and crumbs on the counter and other surfaces, so it is important to always clean these messes up promptly. It is also important to remember that an ant’s water source does not have to come from inside the home. They can find moisture in clogged gutters and leaking outdoor faucets, so it is important to clean and repair these areas regularly.
Another main reason people find ants inside their home is due to the weather. Ants need certain conditions and if it is too dry or wet, or too cold or hot, they will also go inside seeking more desirable conditions. The only real way to prevent this from happening is to keep the interior of the home clean so there is nothing attractive to lure them inside.