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  1. Ants

Why do Ants Invade Homes in The Carolinas?

Ants have evolved to become one of the most adaptable insects on the planet. While many ants live in raised mounds or high up trees, some ants can adapt to live in almost any place they can find shelter. Unfortunately, this can be your own home!

Ants are also some of the most organized social insects, with workers going out to harvest food for the rest of the colony, including males and queens. If your home has the food they are looking for, they will do whatever it takes to get a taste. Before you know it, ants can get into your home through tiny cracks and crevices and build massive nests. Which is why it’s better to stay on top of managing their numbers before it gets out of hand.

Ants: What are They?

Though it seems like a silly question, everyone in Charlotte and surrounding areas knows what ants are! Ants are by far one of the most common insects in the Carolinas (sometimes it can feel like the Charlotte area has more than our fair share). However, with over 12,000 species of known ants, identifying a particular one can be difficult. Without knowing what type of ant species you are dealing with, you won’t be able to treat and prevent them from taking over your home.

Home Invaders: Ants Found in Charlotte & The Carolinas

Acrobatic Ants

Acrobatic Ants are another type of ant you might see invading your Charlotte home. They have the greatest range in size of the ant species. The workers can range from 1/16th of an inch to double that and can be brown to black in colorations.

The Acrobatic Ant gets their moniker from its reaction to danger or surprise. When alarmed, it raises its abdomen (the rear most section of the body) over its head and thorax as a reaction to a threat.

Outdoors, Acrobatic Ants tend to live where wood-destroying insects, like termites or carpenter ants, have abandoned nests. Inside your home they tend to nest in areas with moist or damaged wood, like attics or crawl spaces.

These ants tend to feed on honeydew sap and other common insects found in the Carolinas. Like most species, they may come into homes in the Charlotte area looking for food (although prefer sweets).

Like other ants in the Carolinas, they mate in swarms in the warmer summer months.

Argentine Ant

In the Charlotte area, Argentine Ants grow to be about the size of the Odorous House Ant, both are around 1/8 of an inch.

While this ant is originally from Argentina, they find the climate of the Carolinas and Charlotte area to be ideal. One of the differences between the Argentine Ants and many other species is the way they build multiple nests close to one another. In fact, they are very sociable and prefer to mix between the different nests easily. Because of the multiple nests (and multiple queens) they can be difficult to control, which is why professional treatment is recommended.

Argentine Ants prefer sweets, which is what they may be looking for when they invade your home. Make sure your house is as impenetrable as possible, as they are great at taking advantage of small cracks and crevices.

Fire Ants

Lots of people think of fire ants as large, red ants. However, fire ants are small, reddish-brown/black. Unfortunately, they look a lot like our native ants in the Carolinas. Fire ants range in size even in the same mound. They can be from 1/16″ to 3/16″. Different ant sizes can dictate they different functions the ants perform.

Fire ants were accidently imported to the US from Brazil over a hundred years ago.

They are usually identified by their painful bite. However, you can also id them by their mounds. In sandy soil they are irregularly shaped., and in clay they are more uniform

Pavement Ant

These ants are named after the areas that they live in. You can find Pavement Ants all around Charlotte. Workers are about 1/8th inch and move rather slow, in comparison to other ant species in the Carolinas.

You can find Pavement Ants directly beside or near sidewalks, driveways, and your home’s foundation. Indicators of a nest are a mound of dirt along the edge or in a crevice of a hard surface.

Pavement Ants also swarm in the warmer Carolina months and can be differentiated from termites by their “pinched waist” vs. the more rectangular termite body type.

Outside your home in Charlotte, Pavement Ants tend to feed on other insects and honeydew sap. Inside your home they will feed on a variety of different food items found in your pantry.

Odorous House Ant

A very common ant in the Carolinas (with a very descriptive name) is the Odorous House Ant. They are named Odorous because they exude an odor that smells like rotten fruit when you crush them. In one nest alone, they can have thousands of workers with multiple queens. This makes it harder to get rid of them because even if you kill one queen, the others can continue the colony.

Odorous house ants in the Charlotte area grow to be about a 1/8th of an inch and are black to brown in color.

These ants are very adaptable and can make nests almost anywhere. They prefer to nest in your yard, within cracks in your siding or brick, and even inside of insulation.

Odorous House Ants are attracted to sweet ornamental flowers outside of the home, as well as sugary foods inside of the home.

The best way to get rid of them is to make sure you cut down on their access to food, water, and shelter. Make sure you properly dispose of even the tiniest bits of food and never provide any form of access to water. Even a small leak can give Odorous House Ants enough moisture to scrape by.

Ants vs. Termites — Carolina Edition

There are a few ways to tell if you are finding termites or ants around your property. Many species of ants swarm to mate, just as termites do.

  1. Ants have a noticeably segmented body with a “pinched waist”. Termites are more rectangular looking in shape.
  2. Ants have a “bent” antennae that looks like an arm bent at the elbow. Termite’s antennas are straighter.
  3. Ant’s wings are more perpendicular to their bodies, while termite wings are more parallel.

What are the Dangers of Ants to Carolina Homeowners?

Most people’s perception of ants is that they are a nuisance and nothing more. However, with all ants there are dangers when dealing with them in your home.

First, ants give the opportunity for contamination. Ants spend most of their time crawling across surfaces, picking up germs and other contaminants, and then go on to walk on our floors, walls, counters, and food. Similar to the dangers of having cockroaches in your home, this is not the best way to keep you and your family healthy!

In addition, some ants in the Charlotte area and Carolinas are known to bite or sting. While these stings and bites are painful, they can also trigger anaphylactic shock in certain people with hypersensitivity to ant venom.

How do You Get Rid of Ants?

This question might be better phrased to be “who gets rid of ants in Charlotte”? And the answer is Killingsworth!

We help homeowners in the greater Charlotte area get rid of all types of ants and keep them out for good. Ants can be tricky to get rid of, that's why store-bought solutions and DIY methods aren’t very effective against them.

If you have ants in your home or yard, give us a call and we can act immediately. We will even give you a quote right over the phone. Click below to call directly from this page.

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