Most common types of ants do not move or march alone; instead, they move with a large group of other ants. Ants have a vastly superior population to humans and are virtually anywhere.
There are approximately 700 different types of ant species in the world, but we are familiar with the most common types of ants.
One of the most important initial steps in gaining control over ants that have invaded your home is becoming familiar with their kind.
The correct identification of ants can lessen the discomfort caused by bites and stings, make it easier to get rid of ants in your house and yard, and shield your wooden decks, stairs, and firewood from damage.
To help you create limits with these too-sociable guests, we’ve highlighted 12 of the most common types of ants in our surroundings.
1. Crazy Ants
In contrast to other species of ants, tawny crazy ants are notorious for not marching in a straight line. Their chaotic trailing movement is due to their large legs, which allow them to move pretty swiftly.
In the southern part of the United States, these animals create tunnels through the soft soil and are considered an economic, ecological, and annoyance issue.
Reddish-brown in color and measuring approximately 1/8 of an inch in length, crazy ants are almost the same size as one another. The worker ants have an antenna composed of 12 segments with hairy bodies.
Honeydew, produced by insects such as aphids, scale insects, whiteflies, and mealybugs, is a favorite food of tawny crazy ants. In addition to fruit and small vertebrates, these ants will consume overripe fruit.
Nesting sites for colonies are often near anything that can supply moisture and shelter from precipitation. The crazed ants will look for a haven in any available structure, whether mulch, leaf litter, pots, garbage, landscape objects, or loose tree bark.
Even though crazy ants do not bite or sting, you may find that spending time in your yard is somewhat unpleasant due to their presence.
Because of the vastness of their population, tawny crazy ants can be difficult to manage, and they can extend their territory by between 800 and 1,300 feet per year. All these gave rise to their prevalence, making them one of the most common types of ants globally.
You will need to implement a system of integrated pest management to combat these ants effectively because they are challenging to eradicate.
Alternatively, clearing your yard of any garbage, trash, other items left outside, and any potential food sources would be best.
2. Fire Ants
Another one of the most common types of ants is fire ants. The red imported fire ant, often known as the RIFA, is an invasive species that originated in Brazil and made its way to the United States and other parts of the world in the 1930s. Fire ants can have a variety of colors, ranging from reddish-brown to almost black.
Colonies of fire ants include ants of varying sizes, such as the queen, sterile female workers, winged males, and winged females.
Because these ants are so hostile and cause such a nuisance, the USDA has designated certain locations as quarantine zones to prevent the invasive species from spreading further.
Although fire ants often construct their nests in open regions, you can also find these structures near wooded areas, fences, and bodies of water. An undisturbed mound has the potential to reach a height of one foot.
These species are among the most common types of ants and are known for their fierce bites and excruciating stings, and they almost always attack in groups.
Their bites are fatal to smaller animals and require medical attention in humans. Some people may have a fatal allergic reaction if the fire ant infestation is serious enough. During the dry summers, fire ants may venture indoors in search of food.
In addition, fire ants can enter your home after a flood or drought and set up nests in the walls or behind major appliances if the conditions are right.
A nest of fire ants within your home can be quite dangerous for your pets and people sleeping there. Fire ants can nest close to electrical units, leading to power outages and other complications.
A qualified and licensed electrician or a pest control specialist should only address an ant infestation near electrical equipment.
3. Carpenter Ants
The third mention on our list of the most common types of ants is carpenter ants. Carpenter ants play a useful part in the natural world because they speed up the decomposition process of decaying wood and stumps.
On the other hand, carpenter ants are prone to attacking any wood with excessive moisture and can be harmful to trees.
These wood destroyers range in length from a quarter of an inch to seven-eighths of an inch and are often black or brown in color.
However, some variations are red. Carpenter ants are omnivores, meaning they consume sugars, proteins, fats, and even meats as a snack.
And at the rate at which humans consume these foods, it is no surprise that they are on this list of the most common types of ants.
During the process of building their tunnel galleries, they may create mounds of shredded wood waste in the shape of cones. This debris is referred to as frass, and it resembles pencil shavings.
Carpenter ants can wreak havoc on the structural integrity of your wooden features. Carpenter ants will set up nests anywhere they can find water-damaged wood, including inside your home, if there is enough of it.
Porches, roofs, walls with leaking pipes, fence posts, power poles, and even your beloved tree might all have water damage to their wood if you didn’t properly maintain it.
The jaws of carpenter ants are strong and capable of inflicting painful bites on occasion if they feel threatened.
Their bite has the potential to pierce the flesh possibly. Even worse? Carpenter ants have the ability to spray a protective chemical made of formic acid into wounds, which causes the pain to be amplified, making them not only among the most common types of ants but also formidable ants.
4. Acrobat Ants
Acrobat ants got their name from the fact that they would hold the rear half of their abdomens higher than the rest of their bodies, almost like they were performing a balancing performance.
When startled, they may elevate the hind section more over the thorax, making them look like small spiders.
Acrobat ants can be anything from yellow to a very dark brown color, and their abdomens are formed like hearts and are typically a darker color than the rest of their bodies.
Nesting is most common for acrobat ants in hollow stems and twigs but can also tunnel through softwood. In most cases, sawdust will accumulate at the opening of the nest.
Nests of acrobat ants have been found under stones, in stumps, in logs that have rotted away, and even beneath woodpiles.
Wood that carpenter ants or termites have previously destroyed may appeal to acrobat ants looking for a place to set up their colony.
Even though they make the list of the most common types of ants, these ants rarely come into the home on their own.
If you see acrobat ants within your home, it could be a clue that there is a nest or a leak somewhere inside your property.
Nests of acrobat ants require moisture; thus, it is best to ensure that you fix all leaks. When they feel attacked, acrobat ants defend themselves by biting, stinging, or emitting an offensive odor.
To prevent acrobat ants from entering your home, prune any bushes or tree limbs that overhang the structure.
It is important to check for any attic vents that the ants may have damaged and to fix any screens that may have been ripped or torn.
5. Thief Ants
Most people are familiar with thief ants since they are quite prevalent and among the most common types of ants out there.
The look of thief ants is smooth and polished, and they can range in color from yellow to light brown. The petiole of these insects has two nodes, the thorax of these insects is uneven, the eyes of these insects are small, and the antennae have ten segments.
The diet of thief ants consists of fatty and protein-rich meals and dead insects and rodents. The moniker “thief ants” comes from the fact that these insects are known to steal food and larvae from the nests of other species of ants.
The nests of thief ants are frequently near or even inside the nests of other species of ants. Their nests generally feature very little tunnels connecting to other nests in the area so they can take food.
Even though they have many queens, their colonies are typically quite tiny, numbering anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand workers.
Nests of outdoor thief ants are often near rocks, pathways, foundations, rotting timber, or exposed soil—cabinets, wall gaps, minor fissures, stonework, floors, and the space behind baseboards.
6. Odorous House Ants
The odorous house ant’s antenna comprises 12 segments and can range in color from dark brown to nearly black. When crushed, these ants tend to release a putrid smell.
Odorous house ants travel swiftly in single-file lines and prefer to feed on sweet items, but they will also consume dead insects and grease if given a chance.
You can find the odorous house ant nests in various locations, including beneath rocks and within man-made structures.
Colonies of odorous house ants can have anywhere from a few hundred to many thousands of members, all of which are the same size.
These ants will most likely search for food within your cupboard regularly. Even though they don’t sting or bite, odorous house ants can be a great pain to have about the house.
To get rid of these species, which happen to be one of the most common types of ants, you should employ baits. The worker ants may bring the bait material back to the nests, where they’ll try to pass the poison off as food.
7. Cornfield Ants
Cornfield ants can range in color from light to dark brown and are more prevalent in the wild. These pests almost seldom nest inside homes, opting to do so outside or in nearby fields.
They consume decaying insects and sweet substances like honeydew for food. According to research by the University of Maine, cornfield ants can be found in various locations across North America and are most likely the most common type of ants found anywhere on the continent.
Nests constructed by cornfield ants resemble craters, and you can find them buried beneath bricks, stones, sidewalks, pavement cracks, and rotting wood.
These little insects will forage for sweets inside of homes on occasion. Bear in mind that these animals can bite, although they are not as violent as fire ants.
It is possible to eliminate as much as sixty percent of the colony by pouring boiling water over the top of the mound.
Within twenty-four hours of its application, diatomaceous earth, a substance composed of crushed marine animal shells, may cause the ants to become dehydrated.
8. Pavement Ants
Pavement ants are dark brown to black in color, have no wings, and have elbowed antennae. These ants have fine ridges that run parallel to one another across their heads and torsos.
The thorax and the abdomen contain two separate segments that look like beads in between. Ants are social insects.
However, pavement ants are often more sociable than other types of ants, as evidenced by the fact that they may create colonies with up to 10,000 workers, which puts them on this list of the most common types of ants.
These creatures are extremely territorial and will not hesitate to engage in combat with other ants in the area if they feel threatened.
Pavement ants are typically found nesting in the open air beneath stones, bricks, logs, curbs, or in the crevices of pavement. They have a pattern of constructing their dirt mound on the pavement.
Although it is uncommon for these ants to sting, they will if provoked. As a result of the dirt that they push up from between the pavement blocks, they are often an unsightly annoyance.
Pavement ants are known to forage for food inside structures and occasionally nest inside walls or beneath floors.
Spraying pavement ants are rarely effective because it is likely that you will only be able to kill the workers that you observe rather than the entire colony.
9. Yellow Ants
Other notable species under the most common types of ants category are yellow ants. Larger yellow ants are sometimes referred to as foundation ants.
They might be pale tan or orange and have small, beady eyes. Another common name for this species is the citronella ant, which comes from the fragrance produced when crushed. Honeydew is the primary source of nutrition for the worker ants, which are most active at night.
Nests of larger yellow ants can be found in the soil beneath logs, rocks, patio bricks, concrete patios, porches, and other outdoor surfaces, as well as in open places. While constructing their nests, these ants might move a significant amount of soil around.
These insects may venture indoors, searching for a more comfortable winter home in the basement. Remember that larger yellow ants will only enter your home infrequently because they prefer to nest outside rather than inside.
Yellow ants do not normally search for food inside homes; instead, they may construct mounds of soil close to the entry point to their indoor nests. The early part of April is typically when these ants venture back outside.
The larger yellow ants do not bite or possess a stinger either. When these insects congregate in great numbers, which can occur during any year’s season, they can become a significant annoyance.
Although they don’t do much damage, larger yellow ants might be a nuisance if they find their way indoors.
You can remove Ants from your home by sweeping or vacuuming them up. If you find their temporary nest inside, you should spray it with an insecticide designed to kill indoor ants as soon as possible.
10. Allegheny Mound Ants
Allegheny mound ants have a head and thorax that are reddish in color. The abdomen and the legs have a coloration between black and dark brown.
These ants are known for constructing a quite noticeable anthill mound due to its size. It is possible for an Allegheny ant mound that is five months old to develop to be 2 feet broad and 8 inches tall.
This is because the ants’ tunnels reach deep into the ground. After two years, the mound may reach a height of 1 meter (3 feet). So it is no surprise that these ants are among the most common types of ants.
Allegheny mound ants are known to inject formic acid into plants that are close to their nests. They can even kill off small trees and bushes within fifty feet of a huge mound.
If Allegheny mound ants construct an anthill in your yard, they may eat all the grass in the area. If they are disturbed, these ants will bite. Allegheny mound ants will likely emerge in large swarms to defend their territory when disturbed.
After opening the mound, you should pour the appropriate amount of solution following the directions on the pesticide label.
11. Argentine Ants
Not only are Argentine ants one of the most common types of ants, but they are also very productive. A single colony can contain millions of ants, making them one of the most prolific types of ants.
Mounds measuring only one to two inches high can sometimes be seen protruding from the surface of the soil in open regions that have not been disturbed.
These ants are about the size of an eighth of an inch and brown all over. They travel in distinct paths along sidewalks, up buildings or trees, and even underneath the borders of carpeting.
Argentine ants forage for sweets and other bits of food, and they frequently feast on plant buds and the sweet secretions produced by insects that are beneficial to plants.
It is also common knowledge that these ants will search for crumbs and oils inside, which is another reason why blocking all possible access routes for these little insects is essential if one wishes to avoid an infestation.
Placement of sweet baits or traps ought to take place outside rather than inside, as doing so inside can have the unintended consequence of drawing additional Argentine ants into the home.
12. Pharoah Ant
These ants belong to a species that was brought across from another continent, most likely Africa. Their bodies are golden and quite small, measuring an average of 1/16 of an inch in length.
This makes them very easy to recognize. Pharaoh ants occasionally come inside homes, particularly during the year’s colder months.
These ants look for areas that provide sufficient warmth and moisture. They have the propensity to nest in the structures inside of homes, such as behind the baseboards, inside the walls and cupboards, within the insulation, behind the curtains, and in the stacks.
When ants nest outside, they seek cracks and crevices that will give the damp warmth they love. You can find these areas all over the landscape.
Pharaoh ants, like most common types of ants, like a diet that is rich in sweets. However, they also munch on insects (both living and dead) and look for sources of food that are high in fat.
Because a pharaoh ant infestation is most likely to occur inside the home, it is necessary to place bait that contains both sweet and fatty substances in areas of the house that are close to areas in which the ants are likely to be nesting.
These areas include cabinets and corners and areas close to pipes, windows, and any other potential source of moisture.