If you live in Ohio, you may have noticed the occasional ant creeping around your house or garden.
But did you know there are actually several different types of ants living in Ohio? Each type of ant has its own unique characteristics, habits, and behaviors.
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the most common types of ants in Ohio, so you can become more knowledgeable about the species living near you.
Types of Ants in Ohio
1. Common Ants
Ohio is home to various ant species, but the most commonly encountered ant is the common garden ant.
These types of ants in Ohio are small (usually about 1/4-inch long) and reddish-brown or black in color.
They are found in large colonies near pavement, sidewalks, or buildings and prefer to nest outdoors in soil or sand.
These ants feed on various foods, including sweets, proteins, and greasy foods. They are also known to feed on dead insects and other organic material.
Common garden ants are often considered to be nuisance pests, as they can contaminate food sources and even cause damage to structures by burrowing and tunneling beneath them.
While these ants are not typically dangerous to humans, their presence is still undesirable.
When dealing with an infestation of common garden ants, it’s important to contact a pest control professional to identify and remove the colony.
2. Funnel Ants
These ants enter homes through cracks in foundations, around window frames, or through vents.
It’s important to note that funnel ants do not sting but can bite if provoked. If you find an infestation of funnel ants, it’s best to call a professional exterminator.
Since these types of ants in Ohio tend to build nests close to buildings and other structures, over-the-counter pest control methods won’t usually eliminate them.
The good news is that funnel ants are relatively easy to spot due to their reddish-brown color and their tendency to build conical “funnels” near entry points into buildings.
3. Tennessee Thread-Waisted Ant
The Tennessee Thread-Waisted Ant is a species of ant found throughout the United States and is especially common in the state of Ohio.
This species of ant is characterized by its small size, ranging from 3 to 5 millimeters in length, and its distinctive yellow-brown color.
Its name derives from the thin thread-like waist that separates its abdomen from its thorax.
These ants are most commonly found in wooded areas, as they feed on dead wood, as well as seeds, honeydew, and nectar.
They create nests within cavities or cracks in dead trees, logs, stumps, and other sources of dead wood.
The Tennessee Thread-Waisted Ant typically lives alone but occasionally can be found in large colonies with up to 500 individuals.
These types of ants in Ohio can benefit ecosystems, as they help break down dead wood, aiding in the decomposition process and enriching the soil with vital nutrients. They also help to limit the presence of plant-damaging insects.
Overall, the Tennessee Thread-Waisted Ant is an important part of Ohio’s ecosystem and plays an important role in maintaining the health of our forests and woodlands.
4. Hairless Rover Ants
The Hairless Rover Ant (Brachymyrmex patagonicus) is an ant species native to the United States.
These ants are easy to spot because they have no hairs on their bodies because of their bright yellow-orange color.
The Hairless Rover Ant is a small ant that measures between 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch in length. Their antennae are longer than their body, and their thorax has distinct bumps on it.
As with all ants, the Hairless Rover Ant lives in colonies, with a single queen laying eggs and multiple workers caring for her young.
Due to their small size, Hairless Rover Ants can get into homes quite easily. They will typically not cause any damage but may become a nuisance if there is a large infestation.
To prevent an infestation, it is important to keep your home and yard free of clutter and debris, seal up any cracks or crevices in your home, and use ant bait to eliminate any existing populations.
5. Reddish Carpenter Ants
The reddish carpenter ant is one of the more common types of ants in Ohio. As its name implies, it has a reddish-brown body and is about 1/4 inch long. Its head, legs, and antennae are darker than its body.
It builds nests inside dead or decaying wood, including trees and wooden structures. They usually build galleries in the wood where they store their eggs and food.
This ant species also prey on other insects and is not averse to scavenging for food in human homes and buildings.
To get rid of them, it is best to locate and destroy the nest by removing all the wood the ants have infested.
If you can’t find the nest, it is important to take preventative measures such as sealing cracks, crevices, and potential entry points into your home.
6. Black Carpenter Ants
The Black Carpenter Ant is one of the most common types of ants in Ohio. These ants can range from a shiny black color to a dull black with a brownish hue.
The Black Carpenter Ant has two nodes between its thorax and abdomen, making it easy to identify. It is also one of the largest ants in Ohio, growing up to a quarter of an inch in length.
The Black Carpenter Ant is an opportunistic eater who feeds on anything available, including dead insects, sweets, pet food, and electrical wiring.
These ants can be found inside homes, particularly if there are any decaying wood or moist areas.
They will nest in damp wood, such as window frames and door frames, and can be quite destructive to the structure of your home.
These ants are best controlled by eliminating their food sources, sealing any cracks or crevices they may use to gain access to your home, and treating the area with insecticide.
If you do find Black Carpenter Ants in your home, it’s important to contact a professional pest control expert for assistance.
7. Bearded Carpenter Ants
These ants live in colonies made up of workers, queens, and males responsible for foraging for food.
Bearded carpenter ants feed on various items, including honeydew from aphids, honey, insects, and other sweet materials.
When looking for a nesting area, bearded carpenter ants prefer to live in damp and decaying wood, which is more accessible than solid wood.
They will often inhabit old stumps and logs, but they may also enter homes searching for food or moisture, usually creating nests in walls or attics.
8. Acrobat Ants
They tend to build their nests in or near wood, where they feed on other insects.
In addition to preying on other insects, acrobat ants will also eat sweet substances, like nectar or honeydew. They prefer humid areas and thrive in the dark, moist environments.
These types of ants in Ohio can be identified by their red and black coloring and their distinctive heart-shaped abdomens.
Acrobat ants can also raise their abdomens over their heads and run across surfaces like a tightrope walker. When threatened, they may even emit a pungent odor from a gland on their abdomen!
9. Silky Ants
The Silky Ant is a small, black ant with a distinctive, shiny appearance. It is commonly found in Ohio and is attracted to moisture-rich areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements.
It is not considered a structural pest, but they tend to invade homes for food and water. They are omnivorous and feed on almost any type of food, including pet food and other insects.
The Silky Ant can be identified by its black color and smooth, glossy body. They measure about 1/8 inch in length and have six legs.
They are usually found in large colonies, with hundreds of ants living together in one nest.
The Silky Ant is known for its ability to rapidly spread from one area to another due to its love for moisture.
These ants rarely bite or sting humans, but it will likely be painless if they do. If you find them in your home, it is best to call a professional exterminator to rid your home of the infestation.
10. Prairie Mound Ants
The prairie mound ant is a small, red-brown species of ant native to Ohio. They are found in the grasslands and meadows of the state, where they build their distinctive mounds of soil and grass.
These mounds can reach up to two feet in height and provide shelter and protection for the colony’s eggs, larvae, and pupae.
The ants feed on various insects, including caterpillars, spiders, and grasshoppers.
The prairie mound ant has a long snout, black antennae, and reddish-brown legs. Their wings are reddish-brown with yellow veins. They typically measure around 1/8” to 1/4” in length.
These types of ants in Ohio live in colonies that consist of one or more queens, hundreds of workers, and an occasional male or two.
The worker ants are the ones responsible for tending to the colony’s mounds, digging tunnels, and gathering food. They also have the job of defending their colony from predators.
The prairie mound ant is an important part of Ohio’s ecosystem, as it helps to control populations of other insect species.
These ants also benefit farmers, as they help aerate the soil and reduce soil compaction. As such, they should be protected and allowed to thrive in their native habitats.
11. Western Thatching Ants
The western thatching ant is a species of ant found in Ohio and other parts of the US. They are relatively small, with adults measuring between 1/8 and 1/4 inch in length.
They are reddish-brown or black in color and have slender antennae and legs. The thorax is covered in long hairs, which gives the ant its “thatching” nickname.
The western thatching ant prefers dry and open areas, including yards and gardens. They create shallow nests in the soil, often under stones or pieces of wood.
These ants also have a fondness for seeds, which they feed on throughout the day.
When it comes to controlling these types of ants in Ohio, you’ll want to identify their nest and use an insecticide designed to kill them.
To help prevent further infestations, make sure to clear away any debris and other potential nesting sites around your yard.
Additionally, you can keep these ants away from your home by sealing any cracks or crevices around windows, doors, and other entry points.
12. Field Ants
The field ant is an ant species that can be found in many areas of Ohio. It is a reddish-brown colored ant growing to about 5 mm.
The field ant is commonly found in agricultural areas, lawns, and gardens. It prefers dry, well-drained soil and feeds on small insects, plant material, and honeydew from aphids and scale insects.
They often form large mounds in grassy areas or open fields and make their nests deep within the ground. Field ants will also nest under debris like logs or stones if they find it in their habitat.
13. Podzol Mound Ants
The Podzol Mound Ant, also known as Aphaenogaster fulva, is a species of ant that can be found in Ohio.
This ant is typically black in color and grows up to three-eighths of an inch long. It builds large mounds in lawns, meadows, and other grassy areas, reaching up to 18 inches in diameter.
These ants feed on small insects, dead animals, and decaying plant matter, which are considered beneficial for their ability to help with decomposition.
These types of ants in Ohio have a variety of characteristics that make them different from other ant species.
For example, they form colonies of several hundred workers that are usually spread out over a large area.
The workers cooperate with one another to build the mound and collect food. They also communicate with each other through pheromones and vibrations through the ground.
In addition to its mound-building habits, the Podzol Mound Ant is also known for its defensive capabilities.
When threatened, the ants release a chemical that wards off potential predators. This chemical has a strong odor that humans can detect.
Overall, the Podzol Mound Ant is an important species of ant in Ohio that plays a vital role in the ecosystem.
Its mound-building behavior helps improve soil structure and fertility, while its defensive capabilities protect it from predators.
14. Winged Ants
When swarming, both males and females leave their nests and fly together. These swarms are usually found in warmer months, such as summer and early fall. They often attract other types of insects, including bees and wasps.
These swarms aim to find a mate, reproduce, and create new colonies. When the mating is complete, the alates lose their wings and become regular worker ants.
They will then search for a new location to create their nest, which could be inside your home if you are not careful!
15. Cornfield Ants
The cornfield ant (Lasius alienus) is a species of ant that is commonly found in Ohio. It has a light brownish-yellow color and is approximately 1/8 inch long.
This ant species prefers to inhabit disturbed habitats, such as those found near cultivated fields and cornfields.
These types of ants in Ohio usually live in large colonies and build nests in open ground, including agricultural fields and landscaped areas.
They typically feed on aphids and other small insects, as well as honeydew from aphids and occasionally plant matter. They are also known to eat dead insects and spiders.
Cornfield ants are considered beneficial for farmers, as they help control insect pests by eating them or their larvae.
Additionally, these ants often attract other beneficial predators, such as ladybugs, which help keep insect populations in check.
In addition to its ecological benefits, the cornfield ant is an interesting insect to observe. These ants are active and can often be seen scurrying around the ground, looking for food.
Their social behavior is fascinating to watch and can provide hours of entertainment!
16. American Cornfield Ants
The American Cornfield Ant, scientifically known as Lasius neoniger, is a species of ant found throughout North America. It is one of the most commonly seen ants in Ohio.
These small black ants are usually found in large numbers in agricultural fields, where they feed on spilled grains, seeds, and other plant materials.
These ants can be identified by their shiny black heads and bodies, and they’re tipped with yellow antennae.
They range from 4 to 6mm in size and may have darker coloration along their legs and antennae.
If you see American Cornfield Ants near your home, it’s important to act quickly to eliminate the infestation before it worsens.
While these ants are not typically dangerous, they can be a nuisance and difficult to get rid of once they reside in your home.
The best way to control an infestation is to use a combination of insecticides, baits, and traps.
17. Yellow Meadow Ants
Also called the yellow hill ant, it is a species of ant found in North Africa, Asia, and Europe, where it is one of the most prevalent ants.
North American populations are currently regarded as belonging to a distinct but similar species called Lasius brevicornis. Males are 3-4 mm long, the queen is 7-9 mm, and workers are 2-4 mm.
They range in color between yellow and brown, with queens and males having significantly darker hues. The species primarily inhabits the ground in lawns and meadows.
Despite the fact that the nests are frequently fully covered by grass, their presence is frequently revealed by little mounds of loose subsoil in the spaces seen between grass stalks.
They may also build their nests beneath concrete slabs or big rocks. Nesting on the lawn
The yellow meadow ant feeds on the root aphid honeydew it produces in its nests for breeding. The aphids themselves may occasionally be consumed in the winter.
The species rarely go hunting outside the nest due to their feeding habits. Their lack of coloration and smaller eyes compared to similar species like the black yard ant are indications that they reside underground.
Being a cautious species, they frequently only seal their tunnels to ward off intruders.
18. Turfgrass Ants
The turfgrass ant, also known as the sidewalk ant, can be commonly found in well-drained soils of sunny turf surfaces in yards, parks, and golf courses.
These ants construct nests with shallow, connected chambers that are typically found in the upper 12 inches of soil. Turfgrass ants may be found indoors foraging for food.
19. Little Black Ants
An ant species that are native to North America is called the little black ant (Monomorium minimum).
The workers are 1 to 2 mm long, and the queens are 4 to 5 mm long. It is a lustrous black color.
A nest may contain more than one queen because it is a polygyne species with just one worker caste. A colony typically has a few thousand workers and is of moderate size.
Types of ants in Ohio, known as Monomorium minimum, will eat anything, including dead insects and bird droppings. They consume fall webworm larvae as well as codling moth larvae.
Although they nest on earth mounds, workers may browse in homes. They gather aphid honeydew from species like the soybean aphid (Aphis glycines).
The queens’ mid-summer courtship. The males undertake the nuptial fly, mating in midair, and the queens engage in midsummer wooing.
The guys pass away soon after. Each queen builds a fresh nest, removes her wings, and lays eggs. It takes around a month for an egg to mature into an adult.
20. Little Crazy Ants
The Formicinae subfamily contains a sizable genus of ants called Nylanderia. The genus has a practically global range, with species living in a variety of environments over almost the whole globe.
Over 110 species of Nylanderia make up this ecologically significant genus, some of which have been considered invasive. Small to medium-sized, the ants’ colors range from light yellow to black.
21. Shining Amazon Ants
P. lucidus is one of the types of ants in Ohio that have few hairs on the dorsal surface of the gaster and lengthy, frequently dark-colored appendages.
The worker has a head that is longer than it is wide and is 5.7 to 7.1 mm (0.22 to 0.28 in) long.
It is topped with around a dozen small setae (bristles). It is crimson with occasionally brown-tinged legs and the tip of the gaster.
The species name lucidus, which translates to “bright,” refers to this ant’s mesonotum and gaster, the glossiest in the group, and its somewhat lustrous head.
22. Acorn Ants
The acorn ant is one of the most common types of ants in Ohio. This ant gets its name from its small size (only 1/8 of an inch long) and its preference for acorns as a food source.
Acorn ants are usually black or brown in color and have shiny exoskeletons. They can be found in wooded areas or near the bases of trees, where they search for acorns and other food sources.
Acorn ants can be a nuisance in the home, as they are attracted to sweet foods and can contaminate pantries or kitchen counters.
To get rid of an acorn ant infestation, it’s important to identify the source of the infestation and remove any food sources that may be attracting them.
23. Vampire Ants
Stigmatomma pallipes, or vampire ant, is one of Ohio’s most unique types of ants. This ant is named for its blood-sucking behavior, which is rare among ants.
While other ants feed on plant nectar, Stigmatomma pallipes feed on the blood of other insects.
Vampire ants are usually black or dark brown in color and have a glossy exoskeleton. They are usually found in wooded areas or near the bases of trees, where they hunt for other insects.
24. Odorous House Ants
Another common type of ant in Ohio is the odorous house ant. This ant gets its name from the coconut-like odor it emits when crushed.
Odorous house ants are usually black or brown in color and are about 1/8 of an inch long. They are most commonly found in homes, where they feed on sugary foods and other household items.
To get rid of an odorous house ant infestation, it’s important to identify the source of the infestation and remove any food sources that may be attracting them.
Additionally, it’s important to use a combination of baits and insecticides to eliminate the infestation.
In conclusion, there are various types of ants in Ohio, from the acorn ant to the vampire ant.
Each of these species of ants has its own unique characteristics, from size and color to behavior and habitat.
Knowing what types of ants are in Ohio can help you identify and control them and appreciate their role in Ohio’s environment.
So, if you’re curious about the types of ants in Ohio, now you know!