Typical Differences Between Fire Ants & Common Ants

It may be hard to tell one ordinary ant from another, but it’s fairly easy to distinguish a fire ant from all the rest. If you’ve ever unwittingly stepped on a fire ant mound, you have to agree. The biggest difference between fire ants and other types of ants is their extreme aggression.

Common Ants

The most common home invaders in Sarasota are pavement ants, crazy ants, ghost ants and carpenter ants.

Pavement ants are the tiny, brownish-black creatures that you see in sidewalk cracks. In homes, they set up shop inside walls and under floors.

Crazy ants are marked by erratic movements and frequent changes of direction. They look as though they’re not sure where they want to go. They have unusually long legs for their size.

Ghosts ants’ small size and pale, near-translucent bodies make them difficult to spot. They’re only 1 to 1 ½ millimeters in length. If they nest in homes, it’s usually behind baseboards or inside flowerpots. Since ghost ants are fond of sweets, they often gravitate to sugar bowls and syrup containers.

Carpenter ants, depending on their rank in the colony, range in size from 6 to 20 millimeters. Most are black, and they may or may not be winged.

They don’t eat wood as termites do, but in the process of constructing elaborate tunnels and galleries, they knock it out of their way. If you notice little trails of sawdust or bits of insulation, you may have a problem.

Ants feed on other insects and just about anything in your kitchen. Except for carpenter ants, which can cause structural damage, most common ants merely steal your food or spoil your picnic. With fire ants, it’s another story.

Fire Ants

These ants are red or brownish red in color, and they grow up to ¼-inch long. Most people identify them by their distinctive mounds, which are domed and can rise to 2 feet in ideal soil conditions.

Fire ants construct mounds in open, sunny areas like soccer fields, parks and yards. They are dreaded for their extremely painful bite. When their mound is disturbed, they swarm the attacker and start climbing. They cling with their mouths as they inject their potent venom.

Bites usually result in painful white pustules that are prone to infection, and sensitive people may have allergic reactions. Fire ants have also been blamed for declining numbers of frogs, lizards, songbirds and other small animals.

Arrow Environmental Services can protect your family, pets and property from ants and other pests. Our professionally trained technicians have the knowledge and experience to keep you safe. Call us today for a thorough property inspection.

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