We’ve all had these tiny insects on our kitchen counters or floors at one time or another. Although there are several hundred species of ants that live in the United States, there are only a few species that tend to enter homes in Missouri.
Pharaoh ants are yellowish to orange in color and are approximately 1/16in long. These are the ants most likely to spread disease pathogens in healthcare facilities, including hospitals. Pharaoh ants are a common pest that finds their way into Missouri homes. Their diet consists of foods that contain fats, proteins, and sweets. They will forage for these inside a home and outside in their natural habitat. When these ants nest indoors, they seek places that are warm or humid and are close to food and water. Such as wall voids, behind baseboards, under floors, and even in furniture.
Odorous House Ants
Odorous House Ants are considered the most common home-invading species. Measuring about 1/8in long with a dark brown to black color, these ants give off a coconut-like odor when crushed. Odorous House Ants eat honey dew and plant nectar found outdoors, but will invade in large numbers when their usual supply starts to run low. They can be found building nests in wall voids, especially near hot water pipes and heaters, in crevices around sinks and cupboards.
Pavement Ants build colonies under pavement, under concrete slabs, and in sidewalks. Because of this, they often find their way into a home. Inside, they are often found living in walls, insulation, and under floors. Pavement Ant workers are around 1/8in long, range from brown to black, and have parallel furrows and ridges on their head and thorax. They will eat almost anything including other insects, honeydew, and people food. They prefer meat and grease when available.
Other Invasive Ants
Small Honey Ants are the most tolerant of cold weather which means they can be a problem year round.
Acrobat Ants get their name from their ability to hold their abdomen over their head in a balancing act of sorts. These ants can be an invading pest throughout the United States, including Missouri.
Field Ants don’t always stay in fields and meadows, unfortunately. These ants can invade structures while searching for food.
Carpenter Ants are the most destructive of invasive ants. They will tunnel through wood in your home to make their own home. Left untreated, the damage can impact the structural integrity of your home.
Keeping Ants Out Of Your Home
- Clean up food, including pet food, and any beverage spills as soon as they occur.
- Remove crumbs from food preparation areas and floors.
- Clean under and around appliances often.
- Store food in air tight containers.
- Remove trash regularly.
- Eliminate moisture. Ants need moist environments to survive.
- Seal openings around doors, windows, and the foundation.
- Store firewood away from structures and up off the ground.
- Keep trash cans with tight fitting lids.
- Eliminate hiding spots by cutting back vegetation, tree branches, and removing debris from around the exterior of your home.
If you have an issue with any of these around your home, please contact us at (314) 601-1789.
Photos from Pestworld.org