While most species of ants don’t do much than ruin your picnics, fire ants can ruin your whole day (or week)! Fire ants are usually red in color, can make small or very large mounds, and can be aggressive protectors of their anthills. When fire ants sense a disturbance on their nests, they will attack with a ferocious vengeance. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t meaning to do harm to a fire ant mound — we just weren’t watching where we step! If you are tired of worrying about where to step in your yard or are worried about the safety of your children or pets, we want to help at Stone’s Pest Services take care of your fire ant problem.
In the Pee Dee area of South Carolina, fire ants are somewhat common. If you see fire ants in your yard and are looking for signs of their anthills, you won’t always find large hills. Occasionally you’ll see a fire ant mound in the form of what looks like freshly worked dirt, but with no obvious opening to a mound. Other times you might discover a huge mound since they can grow to be around two or three feet tall! No matter what the size or permeation of fire ants in your property, our team here at Stone’s Pest Services can help you get rid of them.
If you are in the area and worried about fire ants invading your property, let us help. For more information, give us a call!
Size: slightly bigger than 1/8”
Color: light yellowish brown to almost dark brown
How to recognize: When viewed from above, the abdomen has a distinct heart shape
Habitat: Outdoors– stumps, hollow trees, or firewood, under yard debris or other materials. Indoors– in walls or ceilings, old termite or carpenter ant nests, or within soft materials like foam insulation
Behavior: The name is derived from the habit in which they arch their abdomen over their thorax when they are agitated feed on a wide variety of live or dead insects, and the ants may even create shields of plant material over their food, protecting it from other predators.
Size: 1/11” – 1/10”
How to recognize: Trail in large numbers and develop super-colonies that spread across large areas
Habitat: Nest under heavy leaf litter, under wood on the ground, at the base of trees, in planters and mulch.
Behavior: Very aggressive–can drive most other ant species out of their territory
Size: ¼” to ½”
How to recognize: Their large size makes them easier to identify
Habitat: Nest in dead portions of trees, stumps, or logs, and invades homes in search of food.
Behavior: Do more damage to sound undamaged wood, than to old wood. They don’t eat wood, but carve out smooth galleries in wood for nesting, often are so smooth, they appear to have been finished by sandpaper.
Size: 1/8” to ¼”
Color: Reddish brown
How to recognize: Aggressive behavior and large mounds
Habitat: Mounds can be up to 2 feet high and 3 feet wide, and are often located near shrubs or other structures, which provide protection from burrowing, ant-eating animals
Behavior: Known for their painful, burning sting, they often seem to attack whoever steps near their mound. Some are extremely allergic to the sting, and will require medical attention to deal with the toxins.
Odorous House Ant
Size: 3 mm have a single node that is tucked closely against the front of the abdomen
Color: Shiny black to dark brown
How to recognize: They have a single node that is tucked closely against the front of the abdomen.
Habitat: Outdoors they make shallow soil nests under any material on the ground, within hollow trees, or in any other cavity available. Indoors they nest in wall voids, under insulation in crawl spaces, or within cavities in the wood
Behavior: The name is derived from the strong odor given off when the ants are crushed, said to resemble rotting coconuts. Workers are all the same size and forage in long, distinct trails
Size: 1/12” to 1/16”
Color: Red to yellowish
How to recognize: Small with two nodes. The Pharaoh ant’s antenna has 12 segments and ends in a three-segmented club.
Habitat: Wall voids, cabinets, boxes of food, and any accessible small crevice spaces; are known to invade sick rooms and feed on blood plasma and wound dressings.
Behavior: Colonies have multiple queens and can split into small groups, spreading very rapidly.