Michigan is home to a wide variety of ant species, each with its own unique characteristics and behaviors. Our blog post will explore different types of ants in Michigan.
We will discuss their physical features, habits, and habitats so that you can become an expert on Michigan’s ant population.
Read on to learn more about these tiny yet powerful insects!
1. Pitch-Black Collared Ant
The Pitch-Black Collared Ant (Formica obscuripes) is first on our list of types of ants in Michigan. It is a species of ant native to the United States. They are most commonly found in Michigan, but they can also be found in other parts of the Midwest.
They typically make their homes in woodlands, grasslands, and even residential areas. These types of ants in Michigan are usually small, measuring between 1/16th and 1/8th of an inch long. They have a black head and thorax and a brownish-black abdomen. The antennae and legs are yellowish-brown in color.
When disturbed, Pitch-Black Collared Ants will quickly retreat into their underground nests. While they do not typically bite humans, these ants are known for forming large colonies that can cause damage to wooden structures or trees by hollowing out galleries for nesting. They also feed on other insects and their eggs, making them beneficial predators.
Overall, Pitch-Black Collared Ants are a relatively common type of ant found throughout Michigan. While they may not always be welcome visitors, these hardworking types of ants in Michigan play an important role in controlling other pests and maintaining the balance of nature.
2. Funnel Ants
Funnel ants are one of the most common species of ants found in Michigan. These types of ants in Michigan are easily recognized by their distinctive funnel-shaped nests built in wood, soil, or plants. The nests consist of two parts – a wide entrance and a narrow exit – which allows the ants to quickly enter and exit the nest without being detected.
Funnel types of ants in Michigan are typically reddish brown in color, with black heads and legs. They measure about 2-3 mm in length and have long slender bodies. They have six legs and two antennae, which they use to detect food sources.
Their diet includes plant matter, other insects, and sometimes honeydew from aphids. The nests of funnel ants can be found both indoors and outdoors. They often nest under logs, stones, or boards in outdoor settings. Indoors, they prefer to nest in areas near warm sources like furnaces, fireplaces, and other heaters.
Funnel types of ants in Michigan can be difficult to eradicate, as they can repopulate quickly if their nests are disturbed. If you think you have an infestation, it’s best to contact a pest control professional to get rid of them safely and effectively.
3. Tennessee Thread-Waisted Ant
The Tennessee Thread-waisted ant, also known as the Eastern thread-waisted ant is also on our list of types of ants in Michigan. This species of ant is about a half-inch long and typically has a reddish-brown color with a yellow band across its back. It gets its name from its thin waist between its thorax and abdomen.
These types of ants in Michigan build nests in the ground or in wood, and they feed on other insects, plants, and seeds. They are most active during the summer and can be found in gardens, woodpiles, and sidewalks. Tennessee Thread-waisted ants are attracted to light and can sometimes be found near windows or doorways.
While this species of ant does not sting, it does have strong jaws that can cause a bite when it feels threatened. When disturbed, these ants are known to release an unpleasant odor from glands located in their abdomen.
Overall, the Tennessee Thread-waisted ant is an interesting species of ant that can be found in Michigan. It’s important to note that if you come across one of these types of ants in Michigan in your home, it is best to contact an exterminator to ensure proper removal.
4. Bearded Carpenter Ants
Bearded carpenter ants are a type of ant found in Michigan, usually found in wooded areas. They are known for their long, slender bodies and distinctive facial hair, hence the bearded carpenter ants. The color of their bodies ranges from black to brown, and they have yellowish-brown legs.
These types of ants in Michigan can be up to two inches long, making them among the largest species of ants in the area. Bearded carpenter ants feed on various insects, including caterpillars, flies, and aphids. They also enjoy sweet foods such as honeydew and tree sap. In addition to being an important part of the local food chain, these ants are also beneficial for their ability to control other pest populations, helping to keep damage to trees and plants to a minimum.
Bearded carpenter types of ants in Michigan typically build their nests in rotting logs or dead tree stumps, though they may also nest in walls or attics of homes and buildings. As they age, they become more adept at controlling other pests, so keeping these ants around can be beneficial in managing other pest populations.
To prevent infestations of bearded carpenter ants, it is important to remove sources of food and nesting sites. Keep trees and plants healthy, trim bushes and overgrown vegetation, and eliminate moisture and standing water sources. Be sure to seal cracks and crevices around windows, doors, and vents to keep these ants from entering the home.
5. Wide-Legged Citronella Ant
The wide-legged citronella ant is a species of ant that is native to the United States. They are relatively large ants with an average length of 1/4 to 1/2 inch. These types of ants in Michigan have a yellowish color and have long, slender legs. They are commonly found in wooded areas and near water sources.
Citronella ants feed on sweet substances like honeydew and nectar. They are also known for eating insects and other small invertebrates.
These types of ants in Michigan are most active during the summer months when they feed on nectar and sweet substances from flowers. They can also be seen in gardens, wooded areas, and nearby lakes and rivers.
In some parts of the world, citronella ants are used as a natural insect repellent due to their strong scent. The scent is produced by an antiseptic compound called citronellol, located in the ant’s exoskeleton.
Though citronella ants do not sting or bite, they can be bothersome to humans due to their presence in gardens and other outdoor areas. If you find yourself dealing with an infestation of citronella ants, it is best to contact a professional exterminator as soon as possible.
6. False Honey Ant
The false honey ant is a species of ant native to Michigan. It is classified as a type of small black ant but can often have a reddish tinge to it.
False honey types of ants in Michigan are typically found in areas of high moisture, such as near lakes, rivers, and wetlands. They are omnivorous and feed on both plant material and small insects. This type of ant is known to enter homes, where they search for food and water, often living in walls or behind furniture.
The false honey ant is not considered a nuisance pest but can be difficult to control if they infest an area. To control these types of ants in Michigan, it is best to identify the source of the infestation and use chemical or physical control methods.
7. Yellow Shadow Ant
The yellow shadow ant (Lasius flavus) is a species of ant native to Europe and Asia but has been introduced to other parts of the world. The yellow shadow ant is an opportunistic species found in various habitats, including forests, gardens, lawns, and agricultural areas.
The yellow shadow ant is a small ant with a yellowish-brown body and distinct red eyes. These types of ants in Michigan are social insects and will form large colonies that are comprised of hundreds or even thousands of individuals. The yellow shadow ant is known for being an active forager and will feed on various food sources, including other insects, nectar, and honeydew produced by aphids and scale insects.
The yellow shadow ant is considered a nuisance pest because they have the potential to invade buildings looking for food and shelter. If they do enter your home, they can be difficult to get rid of and may require the assistance of a professional pest control service.
8. Shaded Fuzzy Ant
The shaded fuzzy ant is a species of ant found in Michigan. It is distinguished from other ants by its golden-brown color and furry texture. The shaded fuzzy ant is small and has a slender body that measures about 1/4 inch in length.
Its antennae are long and thin, and its thorax is covered with fine hairs. This species of ant prefers to nest near trees and shrubs, especially near elm trees, which provide shade and shelter. They feed on various foods, including insects, fruits, and honeydew.
They also scavenge for food and water in areas where they can find it. The shaded fuzzy ant can be very beneficial in controlling pest populations, but they can also become a nuisance if they enter homes or gardens. In this case, the best way to control their population is to use bait and traps.
9. Silvery Field Ant
The Silvery Field Ant is next on our list of types of ants in Michigan. It is a relatively small ant, ranging from 1/8 to 1/6 of an inch in size, and has a yellowish-brown color.
The Silvery Field Ant is known for its large colonies that can be seen out in the open, often at the edges of fields and lawns. They have also been found near homes and buildings.
These types of ants in Michigan are considered pests due to their ability to cause crop damage and destruction of gardens and landscaping. They have even been known to infest stored foods like grains and cereals. The most effective way to control Silvery Field Ants is to use bait traps or insecticides.
10. New York Carpenter Ant
The New York carpenter ant is one of the most common types of ants in Michigan. These types of ants in Michigan are usually black or dark brown and are about 1⁄2 an inch long. They are typically found in moist areas such as under logs, mulch piles, and gardens.
The New York carpenter ant has a three-segmented body and a single node on its petiole. This ant can be identified by its large mandibles and antennae.
New York carpenter ants feed on other insects, sweet substances, meat, grease, and even milk. They will also scavenge for dead animals and nest in wood, forming intricate tunnels and galleries searching for food and water. These types of ants in Michigan may also form colonies indoors, where they will nest in wall voids, insulation, and behind baseboards.
If you suspect an infestation of New York carpenter ants in your home or yard, it is important to contact a pest management professional immediately. An exterminator can help identify the source of the problem and determine the best course of action to eliminate the infestation.
11. Cornfield Ant
The cornfield ant (Lasius neoniger) is a small black ant that is native to North America. They are commonly found in fields, gardens, and lawns, hence the cornfield ant. The ant’s body is about 1/10th of an inch long with pale yellow legs and antennae.
The head and thorax of the cornfield ant are black, while its abdomen is a light brown color. These types of ants in Michigan feed on insects, nectar, and honeydew produced by aphids. They also scavenge for food and have been known to be omnivorous.
The cornfield ant can sometimes become a nuisance when they build nests in or around homes and buildings. Cornfield types of ants in Michigan are most active during the warmer months of the year, but they can survive indoors in any season.
To get rid of them, it is important to eliminate any food sources that may attract them, such as spilled food or garbage. Sealing any cracks or crevices that may provide entry points for these pests is also important.
12. Thief Ant
The thief ant is one of the most common types of ants in Michigan and is often mistaken for a Pharaoh ant. Thief ants are small, with an average size of 1/16th of an inch long. They are yellowish-brown in color with long antennae.
Thief ants are known for “stealing” food from other ant colonies, hence their name. They live in large colonies and build nests in rotting wood, as well as in soil. Thief ants feed on other insects, especially aphids, which they kill and bring back to their colonies. They also feed on honeydew, grease, and small bits of sweets.
Although they are rarely a nuisance indoors, they can become a problem when infesting stored foods. In this case, it’s best to seek professional help to get rid of them.
13. Vampire Ant
Vampire ants, also known as Myrmecia gulosa, are an interesting type of ant found in Michigan. These tiny, black ants have mandibles that look like vampires’ teeth, hence the name. They live in colonies and forage for food during the day, mainly eating small insects and eggs.
When threatened, vampire types of ants in Michigan will sting and bite to defend themselves. They may also release a chemical deterrent to repel predators.
Although vampire types of ants in Michigan are not known to be particularly destructive, they can become a nuisance if their colonies become large enough. Homeowners should be wary of these tiny creatures and take steps to prevent them from becoming a problem.
14. Immigrant Pavement Ant
The immigrant pavement ant is last on our list of types of ants in Michigan. It is a small black or brown ant with long antennae and pale legs.
This species is native to the eastern United States and was introduced to Michigan through human activities. They are often found in and around buildings, under stones, and on sidewalks, driveways, and walls.
This ant species is an opportunistic scavenger that feeds on various food sources, including sweets, proteins, and fats. They will also feed on insects and other small animals, such as spiders and silverfish.
Immigrant pavement ants typically nest in walls and foundations of structures but can also be found outdoors in the pavement, soil, and rotting wood cracks. They are especially fond of dark areas such as basements, attics, and crawl spaces. The colonies tend to be fairly large, with a single queen producing thousands of workers.
Immigrant pavement ants can become a nuisance when they invade homes searching for food. While they are not particularly dangerous, they can become a nuisance if they make their way into your home or become too numerous in a particular area. Fortunately, there are several ways to control them, such as using insecticides or baits.
Michigan is home to many insects, including many different types of ants. Our list has provided a comprehensive overview of the common types of ants in Michigan.
Michigan has a wide selection of ant species that can be spotted in residential and wild areas. From their habitats to their behavior, having the type of ant in detail will give you a better understanding of the insects living in your backyard.