Pests: Ants

Fire Ants

Pests: Ants

Carpenter Ants

These bi-colored arboreal ants are among the largest ants found in Florida, making them apparent as they forage or fly indoors and out. Complaints are numerous during the spring swarm season, usually between April and June, when winged reproductive are often found in homes in such places as along window ledges and near sliding glass doors. It is common to mistake winged ants for winged termites.

Florida carpenter ants tend to forage at night. The peak foraging hours are just before sunset until two hours after sunset, then again around dawn. Carpenter ants foraging in homes can be in search of sweets or moisture, or even new nesting sites, especially in kitchens and bathrooms, or other rooms that have water leaks from plumbing or leaks around doors and windows.

Ghost Ants

In Florida, the ghost ant is mostly found from Sarasota to Orlando and south, although it does occur as far north as Alachua County and Duval County. The ghost ant is highly adaptable in its nesting habits both indoors and out.

Outdoors, these sites include tufts of dead but temporarily moist grass, plant stems, and cavities beneath detritus in open, rapidly changing habitats. Indoors, the ant colonizes wall void or spaces between cabinetry and baseboards. It will also nest in potted plants.

The ant is easily recognized due to its peculiar color markings and small size. Foragers are seen in kitchens and bathrooms on sinks, counters, and floors. When crushed, the workers emit an odor similar to that of rotten coconuts.

Pharaoh Ants

This common household ant is distributed worldwide and carries the dubious distinction of being the most difficult household ant to control. Pharaoh ants will nest in the oddest places, such as between sheets of stationary, layers of bed linen and clothes, in appliances, or even piles of trash.

These ants infest almost all areas of a building where food is available and infests many areas where food is not commonly found. Control of Pharaoh ants is difficult, due to their nesting in inaccessible areas. Treatment must be thorough and complete at all nesting sites, as well as the foraging area.

 

White Footed Ants

The WFA does not bite or sting, nor has it been reported to cause any structural damage. WFAs are considered by homeowners to be a nuisance pest because they are frequently observed foraging in above ground level in numerous locations within the landscape and home.

Nests are frequently found in trees and bushes, tree holes, under palm fronds and old leaf boots, under leaves on trees, in loose mulch, under debris, in leaf-litter (both on the ground as well as in rain gutters), wall voids, and attics. Vegetation favored by WFA in south Florida includes nearly all palms, especially coconut, sable, or queen, most fruit trees, large Ficus trees, gardenia, hibiscus, ixora, many plants having showy flowers with sweet nectars and most plants which are infested with aphids, scales, mealybugs or other sap-sucking insects.

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