Florida has its share of ant species. Some ants are harmful to cats and dogs in Florida.
Ants can be more common than you think, but knowing how to get rid of ants and what to do if ants bite you can save you time, money, and perhaps even a trip to the hospital!
Here are 15 types of ants in Florida: their bites and stings, other harmful effects on humans and animals, their lifespans, and the best ant control methods against them!
1. Pavement Ants
Pavement ants, also known as pavement ants or pavement formicine, are tiny black ants that live in the cracks and crevices of sidewalks and driveways.
They are not too aggressive and will only attack if they feel threatened. These types of ants in Florida feed on other insects that live under stones, wood piles, or plants.
They can be found throughout the state but are more common in central Florida, where there is a lot of concrete.
The best way to get rid of these ants is to remove any items near the foundation, such as rocks, boards, and tree stumps.
You should also frequently remove trash cans and empty them to prevent food buildup around your home. Spraying insecticide can also be effective, but ensure it’s safe for children or pets before using it indoors.
2. Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants are one of the most common types of ants in Florida. These ats measure 1/4 inch long and have a dark, shiny exoskeleton.
Carpenter ants are black to reddish brown with flat bodies. They can be found anywhere from residential and commercial buildings to trees, shrubs, and firewood piles around your home.
The queen can live up to 8 years! Worker ants need six weeks or more before they can reproduce; some will never do so.
Carpenter ants feed on insects and honeydew (a sugar-rich liquid secreted by aphids) and scavenge for other food sources.
Female carpenter ants lay eggs in chambers inside the colony, and then she feeds them nectar and proteinaceous foods until they pupate into adults.
Once an adult ant is born, it takes its turn at being a worker ant, or it might take over as queen when the old one dies.
3. Odorous House Ants
Odorous house ants are one of the most common types found in homes and yards, especially during the summer.
These ads can be identified by their distinctive odor and dark brown color with a reddish-yellow abdomen. They prefer to nest near moist, damp areas such as under siding, foundations, and decks.
Odorous house ants are typically no more than 1/4 inch long, but they often forage for food on counters or floors because they do not have wings like other species.
To avoid these types of ants in Florida around your home, seal any cracks or crevices that may allow them inside your home.
It is also important to remember that odorous house ants cannot infest foods or contaminate food preparation surfaces, so it is safe to use porous materials when constructing outdoor structures such as patios and picnic tables.
However, since these ants can carry diseases from animals like birds, rodents, and snakes, it is best to keep children away from infested areas while playing outside.
4. Pharaoh Ants
Pharaoh ants are a type of ant found throughout the United States. If you see them, it is essential to have a professional exterminator take care of them because they can ruin your home. They lie to chew on wood, paper, and other organic materials.
These types of ants in Florida are also known for their aggressive behavior, so if you have an infestation, you may want to call for help.
To avoid an infestation, inspect anything imported into your home from outside sources.
One of the worst ways these types of ants will enter your home is through appliances such as refrigerators or washing machines.
You should also thoroughly clean up any spills on the floor with wet towels or rags, as this could lead to an infestation.
5. Red Imported Fire Ants
Red imported fire ants are some of the most common types of ants in Florida. These ats originated from South America, where they get their name. Red imp red fire ants are among the most significant types, measuring 1/4 and 1/2 inches long.
They have a distinctive reddish color with black legs and a white abdomen with two nodes or spines on either side.
The colony can hold up to 100,000 individuals at any given time. These colonies consist mainly of females that live around an established queen who lays eggs and continues to reproduce for the rest of her life.
No males are among the red imported fire ant population, so all mating occurs by swarming. Swarming happens when large numbers of males leave the nest to find mates and return shortly after mating to lay more eggs.
6. Crazy Ant
Crazy ants are small, light-brown insects that can be seen scurrying around the floors and walls. They’re also called pavement ants because they live under rocks and other items on the ground.
Crazy ants usually don’t sting or bite, but they can cause damage to your home by building nests and chewing on electrical wires.
Some people might mistake them for fire ants because of their color, but unlike fire ants, crazy ant bites will hurt a lot less. Like many types of ants, these pests like to feed on honeydew from aphids.
Unlike some other types of ants in Florida, the life span for these pests is about 30 days.
These types of ants in Florida have been introduced into America from South America and have no natural predators here. The one thing that can stop this pest is pesticides.
7. Thief Ants
Although the types of ants in Florida can be up to 12, only a few pose a threat to humans and other animals.
The most common ants found throughout the state are thief ants. These ants will take anything edible, including food items, clothes, and electrical wiring.
Thief ants have a stinger but will not attack unless disturbed or threatened. They enter structures through cracks and crevices during the day, making them hard to find.
These types of ants will move from one home to another, looking for more food if one is discovered, so it is essential to locate the colony and exterminate them.
Certain plants like cactus, black sage, and eucalyptus should also be removed from around homes because these plants attract the types of ants in Florida.
8. Field Ants
Field ants are the most common type of ant in Florida. These ats live outside and forage for food on the ground. They ha e a round body with no noticeable waist and are about 1/4 inch long.
Field ants can be black or brown, but their abdomens are always lighter than their heads and thoraxes.
Queen field ants do not lay eggs; instead, they produce more workers who care for new eggs that hatch from larvae.
Worker field ants range in size from 3 to 8 mm and cannot survive outside during winter when temperatures drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
They may also become a nuisance inside homes because of their attraction to moisture. These types of ants in Florida typically enter houses through doorways and open windows, where they will establish small colonies.
9. Argentine Ant
Argentine ants are the most common type found throughout Florida. They are dark brown or black and don’t have any markings on their abdomen. They’re generally smaller than other types of ants but can grow as large as 1/4 inch long.
Argentine ants love to eat sweet foods like fruit and sugar water, which is why they’re often found in kitchens, grocery stores, and restaurants.
These types of ants in Florida live in colonies with multiple queens producing about one egg per day.
When an Argentine ant colony expands, the worker ants will create a new queen from one of these eggs so that a new queen is always produced.
The colonies tend to die out after three years because all the worker ants die off during this period, and there aren’t any new workers for reproduction purposes. The colony also dies if fire, floods, or pest control treatments disrupt it.
However, if plenty of food is available, it may last longer than three years before dying out three completely.
10. White-Footed Ant
White-footed ants are most often found around plants and can be recognized by their light brown color. They are one of the most significant types of ants in Florida and live from coastal to inland.
They can be found near buildings, stumps, trees, and logs. They forage for food at night and carry it back to the colony during the day.
These ants will eat any food given to them, but they prefer sweet foods. Their diet consists mainly of honeydew produced by effects that suck the sap out of plant leaves.
When white-footed ants feed on honeydew, they eat some plant juices. White-f noted ant workers could not sting humans because they do not have a stinger.
If these types of ants feel threatened or disturbed when feeding on sap oozing out of a cut in a tree branch, they may bite and then spray formic acid onto the wound to deter predators.
11. Ghost Ant
Ghost ants are one of the more aggressive types; their bites can be very painful. They are about 1⁄2 inch long, with a head slightly shorter than the rest of their body. They ha e six legs, with two antennae coming from near the front of their head.
The ghost ant has powerful mandibles they use to cut into the wood to make a new home for themselves or to eat food that has been left out. Like fire ants, these ants in Florida have only one queen per colony.
As opposed to other types of ants, ghost ants will bite humans if provoked, which could cause illness or allergic reactions in people they bite.
They come from how they disappear when humans disturb them because these ants live in dark places such as under rocks or logs where there is little light.
12. Little Black Ant
The Little black ant, a common household pest, is one of the most recognized types of ants in Florida.
These ats are tiny black specks that can be found crawling around all over the place, and they have wings that allow them to fly. They are excellent climbers and will go wherever they please.
With its shiny black body and brownish-black wings, this type of ant has made its way into homes across Florida.
The Lit le Black Ant is not native to Florida but was introduced by humans through trade ships from Africa in the 1930s; before then, it only existed along coastal regions of Central America.
It prefers cool, moist climates, so it thrives best in the southern areas of the state during summer and in northern regions during winter.
13. Sugar Ants
One type of ant you may have heard about is the sugar ant. These an e attracted to sweet things, so they can be found near fruit trees and plants that produce nectar.
Sugar ats also like greasy, sugary foods like french fries or hamburger buns. If you want to keep them away, place peels or items that aren’t sugary near your kitchen countertops or outdoor patio areas.
You should also avoid leaving pet food out for long periods because the sugar ants will make their way over there.
The types of ants in Florida we discuss here will help you identify these types when they show up on your property.
There’s no need to panic if a few come into your home- these guys don’t bite and do more good than harm by eating other insects like spiders, roaches, termites, and crickets!
14. Leafcutter Ants
The leafcutter ants are one of the most common ants in Florida. They are typically brown or black and range from 1/8-1/2 inch long. Leafcutters use their sharp mandibles to cut leaves into small pieces to create a leaf soup.
The leaf soup is then fed to a fungus they cultivate inside their nest. Wor ers chew the leaves and spit them onto the fungus, usually shaped like a ball with ridges.
These ants don’t have eyes but can sense their environment through touch and smell.
15. Harvester Ants
There are different types of ants in Florida, each with unique qualities and habitats. The harvester ant is the most populous type, known for its grain-gathering abilities.
Harvest ants live primarily underground and can be identified by their large head, thin waist, and six legs.
They can be recognized as a type by their nomadic behavior. When ha vest ants find a rich food or water source, they create a new colony.
These different types of ants in Florida also have an excellent sense of smell, which helps them to find food more efficiently.
Unfortunately, this makes them especially vulnerable to poisonous substances such as insecticides.
Harvest ants play a vital role in helping to maintain balance within the ecosystem by breaking down decaying plant matter, so they should never be exterminated without first consulting your local pest control expert.
Ants are diverse and fascinating creatures. There are many different types of ants, each with unique qualities, behaviors, and habitats.
The most common species that can be found in the Sunshine State is the fire ant.
They are typically brown and live outdoors. Florida harbors various other species, including carpenter ants, harvester ants, sugar ants, leafcutter ants, thief ants, and more!
There are a few ways to do this if you are trying to identify an ant or find out what type it is.
One way would be to examine its physical features, such as shape and size, while another might involve locating its colony or observing where it lives or feeds.
Some of these ants in Florida emit pheromones that provide clues about their identity.