24 Different Types of Ants in Minnesota

Types of Ants in Minnesota
Image by: depositphotos.com

Ants are everywhere! Minnesota is not left out. Minnesota has many types of ants, from your kitchen to your backyard.

Ants help keep the ecosystem balanced by controlling the number of other insects like caterpillars and aphids. 

However, if ants become an overwhelming problem, it’s best to call a pest control company to eradicate them before they infest your home and property.

Here are the types of ants in Minnesota and some tips on spotting and keeping them at bay!

1. Wood Ant

Wood Ant - Ants in Kansas
by gbohne is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

This is a wood ant from the genus Formica. They typically have a reddish-brown color but can also be dark brown or black. 

These types of ants in Minnesota are most often found nesting on tree trunks, logs, and stumps.

If you are looking for them during the summer, they may be found nesting under the bark of dead trees.

This type of ant is most common in Minnesota in central and north-central areas.

2. Red Ant

Red Ant - Types of Ants for Ant Farms
by williamcho is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Formica cinerea is among the other common types of ants in Minnesota.

These red ants are not considered pests and are most commonly found foraging for food or patrolling their territory.

They’re aggressive when threatened, but unlike other species, they will not sting humans unless provoked.

3. Mound Ant

Allegheny Mound Ant
by Judy Gallagher is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Formica Creighton is one of the other types of ants in Minnesota. Its color ranges from dark brown to black, with light brown hairs on its head, thorax, and abdomen.

This species can be found under rocks or logs and fallen leaves, feeding primarily on insects like beetles, caterpillars, ants, snails, and slugs.

4. Fire Ant

Fire Ant - Types of Ants for Ant Farms
Image by depositphotos.com

Fire types of ants in Minnesota live on or near the ground and feed on seeds, plants, and insects.

They attack intruders with a painful sting and a powerful bite that can disable larger creatures such as dogs.

5. Silky Ant

Silky Ant
by Luc Coekaerts from Tessenderlo is licensed under CC CC0 1.0

Minnesota has a lot of different types of ants. Some are from the southern United States, but others are native to the state. 

This black ant can be found anywhere from farms to yards, where it often nests in rotting logs or branches.

It also likes to nest under rocks and logs, so it can be hard to get rid of them sometimes. 

The Formica Glacialis will eat honeydew, insects, and other tiny animals if they find them first, but their favorite food is carbohydrates like sweets and fruits that humans leave out on their counters or tables.

6. Harvester Ant

Harvester Ant
by bob in swamp is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Harpago Venus Canadensis, or the harvester ant, is a large species that lives in open areas and is active during the summer.

These types of ants in Minnesota are common throughout the Midwest and are sometimes called cornfield ants.

Harvester ants live under rocks, logs, and other objects on the ground. They also feed on seeds of plants like beans, wheat, and oats.

So When they find a seed, they bite into it with their strong mandibles to break open its hard shell before carrying it back to their nest.

The harvester ant has been observed harvesting more than 100 pounds (45 kilograms) of seeds at one time from a field for their colony’s use.

7. Prairie Mound Ant

The Formica montana is a type of ant that can be found in Minnesota. They are black, red, and yellowish-red ants that live underground.

Their colonies consist of up to 20,000 individuals, and they have one queen per colony. 

The Formica montana types of ants in Minnesota have a large range and are found throughout North America.

In the summertime, you might find them clustered together outside their nest entrance near food sources such as fruit and sugar bait piles.

8. Invasive Ant

This invasive ant is one of the most common types of ants in Minnesota.

They are known to be aggressive and can cause damage to homes, vehicles, and gardens. The Formica sanguinea is black with a brownish-red abdomen.

If you spot these ants, they should be treated as soon as possible because they can quickly reproduce and become an issue. 

They live near water sources like rivers and lakes but will go for over 100 miles if it means finding food or shelter.

Workers are mostly found inside nests or underground, gathering food, caring for the young, or defending the colony from predators.

Most colonies have about 15,000 workers, with only 3-4 queens that lay eggs all year round.

9. Black Pavement Ant

Black Pavement Ant
by RichPhysics is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

These types of ants in Minnesota are commonly known as the black pavement ant. They are mainly found in dry areas and are active year-round.

The ants build their nests by digging holes about half an inch deep into the ground and constructing a tunnel connecting them to other tunnels.

So, If you want to get rid of this type, try pouring boiling water down one of the openings. They will be unable to climb out and die. 

This species is commonly referred to as the red pavement ant because they have a reddish-brown abdomen with four yellow spots on it.

These types of ants in Minnesota are often confused with Formica sericea, but they can be distinguished by their larger size and lack of hairs on the hind legs.

10. Black Ant

One of the common types of ants in Minnesota is the Formica subsericea. It is a black ant that can grow to be anywhere from 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch long. 

They are also known as field ants, and they typically live outside. Their nests will be found under stones, logs, and other bits of wood that have been lying around for a while. 

The Formica subsericea are omnivores; they will eat plant- and animal-based foods when given the opportunity.

They especially like fruits. So, if you’re having a party outside or see one or two ants at your picnic table, it’s likely due to their interest in the strawberries you set out on the table.

11. Cornfield Ant

Cornfield Ant
by Jesse Christopherson is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The Lasius alienus is commonly known as the alien type of ant in Minnesota. It belongs to the Lasius genus. It is found in the United States and Canada.

These types of ants in Minnesota are social insects that mostly live underground or under rocks, logs, and leaf litter.

The alien ants have a broad head with rounded muzzles that taper off to a point. They also have long spines on their thorax. They feed on small invertebrates like termites and spiders. 

12. American Cornfield Ant

Lasius americanus is a type of ant that is native to Minnesota. It’s also known as the cowboy ant because they are known to raid their rival colonies and steal the pupae. 

The ants themselves have a light brown abdomen, black head, and yellowish-brown legs with two nodes at the end.

They’re found from California all the way up to Canada.

Still, they are most common in Midwestern states like Nebraska and Illinois, where they can be seen foraging for food during the day or at night when it’s cooler outside, and there aren’t as many other insects around to compete with them for food sources. 

13. Smaller Yellow Ant

Smaller Yellow Ant - Types of Ants in Pennsylvania
by Jesse Christopherson is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The Lasius clavigers are very common ants that live in Minnesota.

They can be identified by their yellow, orange, and brown coloration. They usually build nests under rocks and logs. 

These types of ants in Minnesota are typically solitary, but they will sometimes work together to forage for food or care for the young they feed on.

You may have an ant problem if ants crawl around your home or other buildings on your property.

There are many types of ants in Minnesota, and they all behave differently, so it is important to know which type you are dealing with. 

14. Larger Yellow Ant

Larger Yellow Ant - Ants in Kansas
by Jamie McMillan is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The lasius interjectus ants are among the most common types of ants in Minnesota. They are mostly black with a tan or yellowish color on their head and thorax. 

Lasius interjectus ants have been known to have elbowed antennae bent at a 90-degree angle near the middle.

They build their colonies underground, which makes them difficult to find. The average colony size is around 3,000 workers but can range from 300 to 10,000 ants per colony. 

These types of ants in Minnesota also produce nuptial flights yearly, releasing winged queens and males into the air to mate. And reproduce new colonies away from the parent colony.

15. Wide-legged Citronella Ant

The Lasius Latipes is also known as the Wide-legged Citronella Ant. It’s a black ant with a reddish tinge to it, and they have 12 segments on the thorax.

They are common in the upper Midwest region of Minnesota, and their colonies are generally small. However, some can grow up to 10 feet high!

These types of ants in Minnesota live off greenery, sap, honeydew, dead insects, and animal carcasses that they scavenge.

They are not generally aggressive unless provoked or threatened by other species, like fire ants or predatory wasps.

16. Turfgrass Ant

A common species of ant in Minnesota is the Lasius neoniger. It’s also called a black garden ant or great black ant. 

These types of ants in Minnesota are usually dark brown with a reddish-brown abdomen and an average body length of 3/8 inches. They can be found all over Minnesota and North America.

Lasiocarpa americana are most commonly found in wet soil and plant roots, but they’ll nest anywhere there’s moist soil.

Common habitats for these types of Ants in Minnesota include gardens, lawns, sidewalks, logs, stones, and tree stumps.

17. Red Harvester Ant

Red Harvester Ant - Ants in Kansas
by DaveHuth is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

The red harvester ant (Lasius pallitarsis) is one of the most common ants you’ll find in Minnesota.

They’re about 1/4 inch long and have a light brown body with a reddish head.

Red harvesters are called this because they collect seeds from plants, store them, and then use them to grow their food.

To protect themselves from predators, they build underground tunnels that lead to their nests.

18. Stinking Ant

Stinking Ant
by berniedup is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Aphaenogaster, sometimes called stinking ants, are small reddish-brown ants found in woodland areas. They nest under rocks, logs, and fallen trees. 

These types of ants in Minnesota collect seeds for their larvae to eat and scavenge rotting wood for fungi that are good food sources.

They are omnivores, feeding on plant matter and insects such as slugs.

19. Red Imported Fire Ant

Red Imported Fire Ant
by Judy Gallagher is licensed under CC BY 2.0

These types of Ants in Minnesota are also known as the red imported fire ant. It has a shiny dark brown head and thorax and is usually orange to red with darker legs. 

These types of ants in Minnesota have a painful sting that can cause death to small animals, humans, and other insects.

They are often found nesting under rocks or logs. This species is more aggressive than other ants, so it should be treated cautiously.

20. Woodland Ant

The Myrmica nearctica, also known as the woodland ant, is common throughout much of Minnesota.

These types of ants in Minnesota are most commonly found living in wooded areas and under rocks. The size and color of this ant vary depending on its age. 

Adults are black, while juveniles are red with yellow stripes.

One distinguishing feature that separates it from other ants is its antennae, which have 8 segments instead of 10 like most ants.

They feed on many different types of food, including aphids, mealybugs, plant sap, seeds, and fruit.

21. Jack Jumper Ant

Jack Jumper Ant
by Arthur Chapman is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The common name for the Myrmecia pilosula is the jack jumper ant.

They build their nests high up in trees or bushes and eat any food sources, such as honeydew from aphids and nectar from flowers.

22. Pennsylvanian Hunter Ant

These ants in Minnesota are typically found in the southeastern region of the United States and can be identified by their dark brown color.

Unlike some other species, this type does not have a sting but a very painful bite that will swell up quickly. 

These types of ants in Minnesota are known to live in moist areas like near rotting wood or plants, and they thrive in forested areas with heavy underbrush.

They can also be found living around homes where they scavenge for food, especially sweets, and if infested, they can be destructive to furniture, window frames, and building materials and make an awful mess.

23. False Honey Ant

False Honey Ant
by Judy Gallagher is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Ants are surprisingly diverse, with over 12,000 species worldwide. One such species is the Prenolepis imparis, more commonly known as the black carpenter ant.

These types of Ants in Minnesota are widely found throughout North America and are most common in the northeastern United States.

The black carpenter ants get their name from their dark brown to black coloring and their tendency to live and nest close to trees that beetles have infested. Ants are social creatures who generally live in colonies. 

Depending on the size and type, these colonies can consist of anywhere from less than a dozen individuals to millions of ants.

A colony is uncommon to have more than 20 million ants!

24. Odorous House Ant

Odorous House Ant
by brian.gratwicke is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Another ant that can be found is Tapinoma Sessile called Monomorium minimum or the little black ant.

These ants are typically less than half an inch long and have a shiny, dark brown coloration.


There are hundreds of different types of ants that you can find all across the United States and Canada.

But you may be surprised by some of the most common kinds you’ll find in Minnesota. 

While they’re all called ants, each type serves an important ecological function in the city and state habitats where they reside, so it’s important to understand them if you want to keep your home pest-free. 

This list covers some of the most common types of ants in Minnesota you might encounter and how to get rid of them when necessary.

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