23 Types of Ants in Pennsylvania

Types of Ants In Pennsylvania
Image credit: depositphotos.com

Welcome to a blog post all about ants! Pennsylvania is home to various ant species, and today we’re going to explore the different types of ants in Pennsylvania.

This post will discuss various types of ants in Pennsylvania, their behavior, and some helpful tips for identifying and controlling them. 

So, if you’ve ever wanted to learn more about ants, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to discover all about the different types of ants in Pennsylvania!

1. Pitch-Black Collared Ant

Pitch-Black Collared Ant
by Ryan Hodnett is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Aphaenogaster picea, more commonly known as the Pitch-Black Collared Ant, is the first on our list of types of ants in Pennsylvania.

This ant is typically black or dark brown and has a unique head shape that is wider than long. It also has a distinct collared pattern on its back, hence its nickname.

These types of ants in Pennsylvania prefer to live in moist habitats like woods, grassy areas, and meadows.

It has been found in various regions throughout the state, including the Poconos, Allegheny National Forest, and Pennsylvania Dutch Country.

The Pitch-Black Collared Ant is a solitary species and will not build nests or colonies. Instead, it will wander around searching for food. 

It primarily feeds on dead insects and other invertebrates, although it has also been known to feed on small amounts of nectar and honeydew.

Despite its intimidating appearance, this ant is harmless to humans and can benefit ecosystems by consuming dead insects that would otherwise become a breeding ground for disease. 

For this reason, it is important to protect these ant populations from human activity that could harm their habitats.

So next time you’re out in Pennsylvania’s beautiful outdoors, keep an eye out for the Pitch-Black Collared Ant!

2. Spine-waisted Ant

Spine-waisted Ant
by Judy Gallagher is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Aphaenogaster rudis, also known as the spine-waisted ant, is one of the most common types of ants in Pennsylvania when it comes to ants.

This ant is black and has a small body reaching up to 0.5 inches long. It has a distinguishing feature of having a thickening or spine in the middle of its waist.

The spine-waisted ant feeds on small insects, honeydew, and other materials like nectar and pollen.

It is active throughout the year but more active in the summer when it is warmer.

This species of ant makes its nests in hollow logs and stumps or under stones.

These types of ants in Pennsylvania colonies can range from a few dozen ants to hundreds of ants.

They are also known to inhabit human homes, occasionally making them a nuisance pest.

Fortunately, spine-waisted ants are not aggressive and rarely sting humans; if you encounter a spine-waisted ant infestation, there are several ways to get rid of them.

Homeowners can use natural ant control methods such as boric acid or insecticidal soaps to eliminate the nest.

Professional pest control companies can also be hired to provide more effective treatments.

3. Little Hairless Rover Ant

The Little Hairless Rover Ant (Brachymyrmex depilis) is an ant found in Pennsylvania. This ant is small, typically only about 2-3 mm long.

It has an orange-red head and thorax, and its abdomen is yellowish or light brown.

This species has six spines on each side of its thorax, which give it the nickname Rover.

The Little Hairless Rover Ant is a ground-dwelling ant, typically nesting in rotting wood or debris.

It is a very active species and can often be seen foraging in large numbers during the day. This ant is also known to scavenge for food in human dwellings.

Like many other types of ants in Pennsylvania, the Little Hairless Rover Ant feeds on various foods.

It is particularly fond of honeydew and will often feed on aphid secretions. It is also known to eat proteins, carbohydrates, and fat.

The Little Hairless Rover Ant is an important species in Pennsylvania, helping to break down decaying plant material and providing food for other wildlife.

If you spot this small, hairless ant in your yard or home, it may be beneficial to leave it alone as it plays an important role in the environment.

4. American Carpenter Ant

American Carpenter Ant
by Judy Gallagher is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Camponotus americanus, or the American carpenter ant, is found in Pennsylvania and throughout much of the eastern United States.

It is one of the most common ants in this region and is known for its large size and distinctive black-and-red coloration.

The American carpenter ant is typically about 10-12 mm in length and has a head, thorax, and abdomen that are all black.

Its mandibles are reddish-brown, and its antennae are also black. It has six legs, its front pair slightly longer than the others.

The American carpenter ant is an omnivorous species that feeds on various food sources, including insects, other arthropods, sap, honeydew, and other sweet substances.

These types of ants in Pennsylvania often form large colonies in rotting wood, hollow tree trunks, and other cavities where they can find food and shelter.

They can become pests if they enter homes and buildings for food.

American carpenter ants are considered beneficial to some extent because they help recycle decaying wood and control populations of other insect pests.

However, they can also cause serious damage to structures if left unchecked.

Homeowners should inspect their homes regularly for signs of ant activity and take appropriate action if necessary.

5. Black Carpenter Ant

Black Carpenter Ant
by dimus62 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The black carpenter ant, Camponotus pennsylvanicus, is one of the most common types of ants in Pennsylvania. It is a large, black ant that can grow up to a quarter of an inch in length. 

These ants in Pennsylvania live in colonies and are typically found nesting in logs and trees. They feed on other insects and are also known for their wood-eating habits.

The black carpenter ant is most commonly seen during the summer when the colonies become active and forage for food.

They are highly adapted to living in wood and are known for their ability to excavate wood with their strong mandibles.

These ants will create networks of tunnels within the wood, which often leads to structural damage over time.

In addition to these common characteristics, black carpenter ants have several distinct features.

Their head and thorax are dark brown, while the abdomen is glossy black. The thorax has one pair of spines, while the legs and antennae are long and slender. 

They also have a single segmented petiole between their thorax and abdomen. The black carpenter ant is a serious pest, so it’s important to look for any signs of infestation. 

Some common signs include finding winged ants around windows or doors, sawdust piles near wooden structures, and hearing loud clicking noises in walls or ceilings.

If you think you have an ant problem, it’s important to contact a professional exterminator as soon as possible.

6. Acrobat Ant

Acrobat Ant
by treegrow is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Crematogaster cerasi, commonly known as the Acrobat Ant, is a species found throughout Pennsylvania.

This type of ant gets its name from its tendency to raise its abdomen into the air, giving the appearance of an acrobat balancing on a tightrope.

Acrobat ants are small. Usually, they are about two millimeters in length and are reddish-brown.

While Acrobat ants aren’t as dangerous as some other species of ant, they can still bite or sting if disturbed.

If you see an infestation of Acrobat ants in or around your home, it’s best to call a pest control professional immediately.

7. Allegheny Mound Ant

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

The Allegheny Mound Ant, or Formica exsectoides, is one of the many types of ants in Pennsylvania.

This ant is one of the largest species in the state, growing up to a quarter inch long. It is a reddish-brown color and has two spines located on its thorax.

This species is commonly found in wooded areas, around forest edges, and in open meadows.

These types of ants in Pennsylvania often build large mounds made out of soil, leaf litter, and other plant material. These mounds may reach up to two feet high and three feet wide.

The Allegheny Mound Ant is a scavenger that gathers food from plants and animals.

These types of ants in Pennsylvania are omnivores and eat a variety of things, including other insects, fruits, seeds, nectar, and pollen.

They will also feed on small mammals, birds, and reptiles. This species is not known to bite humans and does not pose a serious threat. 

However, if disturbed, they can release a powerful odor that is similar to burnt rubber. In addition, their large mounds can be a nuisance for people living near them.

Overall, the Allegheny Mound Ant is an interesting species found in Pennsylvania.

Although they can be a nuisance at times, they are an important part of the ecosystem and provide a valuable food source for other animals.

8. Silky Ant

Silky Ant
by Mary Ann Daly is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Pennsylvania is home to various ant species, and one of the most common types of ants in Pennsylvania is the Silky Ant (Formica fusca).

This small ant is often seen crawling on the ground in gardens, meadows, and woodlands throughout the state. 

The silky ant is typically about 0.12 inches long, with a black body covered with light-colored hairs or a silky coat.

These types of ants in Pennsylvania have six legs and two antennae, and they feed on other insects and sweet liquids.

Silky ants are social insects that live in colonies, with each colony having a single queen ant. The colonies can range from a few dozen to several hundred ants.

These ants will secrete an unpleasant odor as a defense mechanism when disturbed.

Silky ants benefit the environment by eating many insect pests, such as aphids, mealybugs, and scale insects. They are also important pollinators for many plants.

These types of ants in Pennsylvania can become a nuisance when they invade homes in search of food.

If you find silky ants in your home, it’s best to contact a pest control professional to help eliminate them.

9. Western Thatching Ant

Western Thatching Ant
by MicahCarrick is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

If you live in Pennsylvania, chances are you’ve encountered a type of ant commonly known as the Western Thatching Ant.

This type of ant is a member of the Formica obscurities species and is native to the state.

These ants are most often found in wooded areas but can also be found in urban settings as well.

The Western Thatching Ant is a small, brown ant approximately 1/8th of an inch long.

The body of this species of ant is divided into three segments, and it has two antennas that it uses for exploring its environment. 

Western Thatching Ants are social insects living in colonies that range from dozens to thousands of individuals.

These types of ants in Pennsylvania build nests made up of plant material like grass, leaves, bark, and other vegetation.

They use these materials to build thatching or protective layers around their nest entrance.

The colony will then use these materials to protect itself from predators and the elements. Western Thatching Ants feed on other insects, spiders, and some plants.

They are also known to scavenge carrion and occasionally scavenge bird droppings.

The Western Thatching Ant is an important part of the Pennsylvania ecosystem, providing essential pest control services to help keep other insect populations in check.

They also provide soil aeration and nutrient cycling by disturbing the soil and allowing air and water to penetrate.

10. Pale Field Ant

Pale Field Ant
by Judy Gallagher is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Pale Field Ant, or Formica pallidefulva, is a small ant found in Pennsylvania and surrounding states. It can be identified by its yellowish-brown color and slightly hairy body.

Its antennae are clubbed at the end and have two nearly circular eyes.

These types of ants are omnivorous, feeding on both plant and animal material.

They can often be found in lawns, gardens, and other outdoor locations. They are also attracted to aphid honeydew and other sugary substances.

The Pale Field Ant has a unique defensive behavior known as tandem running.

When they sense danger, they will run in a line behind one another, with the leader setting the pace. This behavior allows them to escape predators quickly.

The Pale Field Ant nests in the soil and produces large colonies, numbering hundreds of individuals.

The ants work together to care for their young, build mounds and tunnels, and search for food.

Though they don’t sting, they can bite if disturbed. These bites are not painful but may cause a mild rash or itchiness.

Because of this, it’s best to leave these types of ants in Pennsylvania alone if you come across them.

11. Yellow Meadows Ant

Yellow Meadows Ant
by andybadger is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The yellow meadow ant (Lasius flavus) is one of the most common types of ants in Pennsylvania.

These yellow-orange ants are approximately 1/8th inch in length and have a darker head and thorax than their abdomen.

They typically make their homes in small mounds of soil near fields, gardens, and lawns, often living in large colonies.

The yellow meadow ant mainly feeds on aphids, which they capture using their long antennae. They also feed on other insects and honeydew secreted by aphids.

These types of ants in Pennsylvania are also known to scavenge food from homes, including pet food and other organic matter.

Yellow meadow ants have a distinctive odor when they feel threatened, emitting a citrus-like scent that can be detected from several feet away.

They are also highly adaptive and can build multiple nests if necessary.

They can spread over wide distances, allowing them to repopulate areas where their colonies have been destroyed rapidly.

Despite their ability to repopulate quickly, yellow meadow ants can be managed through various methods such as baiting, exclusion techniques, or chemical treatments.

Identifying the ant species before attempting any management techniques is important, as different species may require different approaches.

12. Pergande’s Mound Ant

Pergande's Mound Ant
by April Nobile is licensed under CC BY 4.0

One of Pennsylvania’s most interesting types of ants is Pergande’s Mound Ant (Formica pergandei).

This ant is an uncommon type found only in select areas, usually near wetlands or other moist habitats.

These types of ants in Pennsylvania are particularly distinctive due to their large mounds of soil, which they use to form nesting sites. 

These mounds can range from 8 inches to 4 feet tall! The mound is created from soil, leaves, and other organic material brought back by worker ants.

The mound also helps keep the nest cool during hot days and warm during cold nights.

Pergande’s Mound Ants are known for their aggressive behavior and will defend their nests by spraying formic acid and biting potential threats.

They also have a unique method of finding food. Worker ants will create a pheromone trail from the nest to a food source, allowing other ants to follow and gather the food.

Pergande’s Mound Ants play an important role in their ecosystems by aerating the soil and providing food for other animals.

They are also an important part of Pennsylvania’s biodiversity, and it is important that we work to protect these fascinating creatures.

13. Smaller Yellow Ant

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

The smaller yellow ant is next on the list of types of ants in Pennsylvania.

Lasius claviger, also known as the smaller yellow Ant, is commonly found near sources of water, such as streams and rivers, where they hunt for food.

They feed on various items, including small insects, fruits, and nectar. 

They are social creatures and live in colonies with up to 50,000 members.

Lasius claviger is a beneficial ant species because they provide important environmental services such as pollination and controlling pest populations.

They are also considered important in decomposition by helping break down organic matter into soil nutrients.

Lasius claviger is a widespread species in Pennsylvania, with colonies in various parts of the state.

It is important to note that this species is not considered an invasive pest, but it may be difficult to control its population if they become too numerous.

14. Yellow Shadow Ant

Yellow Shadow Ant (Lasius umbratus)
by Mick E. Talbot is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Lasius umbratus, or the yellow shadow ant, is a species native to Pennsylvania. It has a unique yellow coloring, which gives it the name of yellow shadow ant.

This ant is typically found in wooded areas and meadows, where it makes its nests in logs, stumps, and other decaying wood.

The workers are around 1/16 inch long and have a yellowish coloration that ranges from pale yellow to golden yellow.

The yellow shadow ant is omnivorous and feeds on various food sources. They feed on plant and animal matter, such as dead insects, honeydew, and other sugary materials.

As their name implies, they tend to stay close to the ground and in shady areas. 

In addition to feeding on these food sources, they help decompose organic material and aerate the soil.

Lasius umbratus is an important part of Pennsylvania’s ecosystem as they help to keep other pest populations in check and assists in keeping the environment clean.

They also play a vital role in pollination and help maintain a healthy balance in the local food web.

15. Monomorium Minimum

Monomorium Minimum
by Thomas Shahan 3 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Little Black Ant, or Monomorium minimum, is one of the most common types of ants in Pennsylvania.

This species is small and usually only grows to be around 1/16th of an inch long, making them very hard to spot.

They have a black body, antennae, and legs, but the head and thorax can sometimes be reddish.

The Little Black Ants are known for their destructive behaviors, as they will raid gardens, kitchens, and pantries for food.

They also love to feed on sweets like honeydew, nectar, and other sugary substances.

In the summertime, these types of ants in Pennsylvania are especially active and can become quite annoying.

Little Black Ants build their nests in soil and spaces between stones and rocks. 

While they can be found indoors, it’s more common to see them outdoors.

It’s important to note that if you find an infestation of Little Black Ants inside your home, you must contact a professional exterminator to get rid of them.

Due to their small size, Little Black Ants can be difficult to eliminate and often require specialized treatments to be eliminated.

Fortunately, there are a few tips that you can follow to reduce the risk of an infestation in your home.

Clean up any spills or crumbs immediately and keep food stored in sealed containers or in the fridge.

Finally, ensure that there are no entry points into your homes, such as cracks in the walls or open windows and doors.

16. Woodland Crazy Ant

The Woodland Crazy Ant (Nylanderia faisonensis) is also one of the types of Ants in Pennsylvania.

It is easily identified by its small size and dark color, which ranges from light brown to black.

The Woodland Crazy Ant has a unique behavior of running erratically around its environment, which is why it is often called the Crazy Ant.

This behavior is thought to be an adaptation that helps it evade predators. This ant is omnivorous and will feed on plant matter and small insects.

The Woodland Crazy Ant can often be found near woodlands, but they are also known to inhabit yards, gardens, and other areas with plenty of vegetation.

Due to their adaptable nature, they can be found in various habitats and climates.

Though they are generally harmless, the Woodland Crazy Ant can become quite a nuisance when their population becomes too large.

As their name suggests, they can be pesky and even damage lawns and gardens if uncontrolled.

To avoid this issue, it is important to identify these ants and take appropriate steps to manage their population.

17. Hairy Big-headed Ant

Hairy Big-headed Ant
by Muscedere ML, Traniello JFA is licensed under CC BY 2.5

The Pheidole pilifera, commonly known as the Hairy Big-headed Ant, is a species of ant native to Pennsylvania.

This species of ant has a black head and thorax with a brownish-red abdomen.

It is one of the most commonly found ant species in Pennsylvania and can be found in urban and rural settings.

The Hairy, Big-headed Ant is usually found living in colonies with multiple queens and workers. They feed on dead insects, sweets, and other organic matter.

They are known for their ability to build large mounds reaching up to 12 inches in height.

The Hairy, Big-headed Ant is an important ant species as they help control other pest populations.

They also help increase soil fertility as they break down dead organic material into smaller pieces, making it easier for plants to absorb nutrients from the soil.

Despite their importance, the Hairy Big-headed Ant can become a nuisance if they enter your home.

If you find a colony living in your home, it’s best to call a professional exterminator for help in getting rid of them.

18. Pennsylvania Hunter Ant

Pennsylvania Hunter Ant
by null is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Ponera pennsylvanica, commonly known as the Pennsylvanian Hunter Ant, is one of Pennsylvania’s most common types of ants.

This small black ant is a scavenger and will feed on just about anything it can find, including insects, remaining seeds, and other plant material. 

The workers are typically only 2-3 mm long and have a two-segmented petiole (node) between the thorax and abdomen.

The Pennsylvanian Hunter Ant is an aggressive species that will attack other insects and scavenge from other ant colonies.

While these types of ants in Pennsylvania can be found in many areas across the United States, it is most common in the eastern half of the state. 

They usually nest in shallow soil or leaf litter and can be identified by their characteristic mound-building behavior.

The Pennsylvanian Hunter Ant is an important part of Pennsylvania’s ant population.

Not only do they help to keep the environment clean by scavenging, but they also provide a valuable food source for predators such as birds and small mammals.

They are also key pollinators of plants in the area, helping to ensure they thrive.

19. Winter Ant (False Honey Ant)

Small Honey Ant
by cricketsblog is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The winter ant, also known as the false honey ant, is a species native to Pennsylvania.

As the name implies, these ants in Pennsylvania are active during the winter, unlike other types of ants in Pennsylvania, which may become dormant in colder temperatures.

They can be found in wood piles, rotting logs, and even in your home if they can find an entry point.

Winter ants are dark brown and typically measure around 5-8 millimeters in length. They have a large head, small eyes, long antennae, and a curved thorax.

These ants possess an intricate caste system, with workers, soldiers, and queens. Unlike most ants, winter ants do not sting.

Instead, they use a unique chemical defense known as reflex bleeding, which causes them to secrete a reddish-brown fluid when disturbed.

Though some consider them a nuisance pest, winter ants can benefit the environment by helping to aerate the soil and break down organic material.

In addition, they help control other insect populations, such as fleas and aphids, by feeding on them. 

Despite their small size, winter ants can be quite resilient and difficult to eradicate.

If you find winter ants in your home or garden, the best course of action is to contact a professional pest control company for assistance.

20. Odorous House Ant

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

The odorous house ant (Tapinoma sessile) is a small ant found in Pennsylvania and throughout the United States.

This ant is typically dark brown or black and measures 1/8 of an inch in length. It can be recognized by the foul-smelling odor produced when it is crushed.

The odorous house ant can infest a home and become quite a nuisance.

It prefers sweet foods and may enter homes searching for sweets and other food sources. It can also contaminate food and spread bacteria.

Control of the odorous house types of Ants in Pennsylvania begins with locating and eliminating the nest, which may be located in areas such as wall voids, under stones, or landscape mulch.

In addition, reducing access to food sources and sealing any entry points can help prevent further infestations. Baiting can also be used to control odorous house ants.

It is important to note that due to the nature of odorous house ants, complete control may not always be achieved.

However, by implementing the necessary steps, it can be possible to reduce their numbers significantly.

21. Acorn Ant

Acorn Ant
by Fractality is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Meet the acorn ant, Temnothorax curvispinosus, next on the list of types of ants in Pennsylvania.

This ant is commonly found in Pennsylvania and other Northeast United States. The acorn ant gets its name from its favorite food – acorns!

This type of ant is small, only about 2.5-3 millimeters long. Their color varies from light to dark brown, depending on the species.

Acorn ants can be distinguished from other species by their curved spines on the back of their thorax.

Acorn ants prefer to live in damp and moist areas, usually near wooded areas.

They are especially fond of oak trees and will often build their nests in the hollows of these trees.

The acorn ant is a social creature and will build colonies with multiple queens and workers.

These types of ants in Pennsylvania feed on the sap from acorns and aphids, and other insects.

They also scavenge for food, such as dead insects and decaying plant matter.

Acorn ants are beneficial to humans as they help control populations of pests, such as aphids.

They also serve as an important food source for birds and small mammals.

22. Immigrant Pavement Ant

Immigrant Pavement Ant
by Judy Gallagher is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Immigrant Pavement Ants (Tetramorium immigrants) are one of the types of ants in Pennsylvania native to Europe and parts of Asia.

Still, they can now be found in many parts of the United States.

These ants were first spotted in Pennsylvania in the late 1800s, likely having arrived as stowaways on ships.

The Immigrant Pavement Ant has a dark brown to black body about 1/8 inch in length.

Their name comes from their affinity for nesting beneath paved areas like sidewalks and driveways.

They are also known to enter buildings and nest inside walls or other cavities.

Immigrant Pavement Ants feed primarily on insects, small invertebrates, and sugary substances like honeydew from aphids.

They are attracted to greasy food sources, so you may find them congregating around outdoor grills or pet food dishes.

To get rid of an Immigrant Pavement Ant infestation, it is best first to identify the source of the problem and then take steps to prevent them from entering your home.

This can be done by sealing cracks or crevices around windows and doors and removing potential food sources.

You can also use baits containing boric acid to control the population.

23. Turfgrass Ant

Lastly, The Turfgrass Ant (Lasius neoniger) is an ant native to the northeastern United States, including Pennsylvania.

These small, dark-colored ants measure up to 1/8 of an inch in length.

The turfgrass ant is a beneficial insect that can help aerate and improve the soil by digging underground tunnels.

They feed on the roots of grasses and small plants and are rarely found in gardens. Turfgrass ants are active during the day, making them more visible than other species.

To protect your lawn from turfgrass ants, it’s important to maintain healthy soil with plenty of organic matter, as these ants prefer drier conditions and are less likely to thrive in well-drained soils. 

Additionally, reducing moisture in your lawn can help deter turfgrass ants, as they’re attracted to moist environments.

Remember that these types of ants in Pennsylvania rarely sting or bite, so they’re not considered significant pests.


Ants are one of the most common insects worldwide, and Pennsylvania is no exception.

As the third most populous state in the country, it’s no surprise that Pennsylvania has an abundance of ant species.

Pennsylvania is home to many different types of ants, from the tiny carpenter ant to the large black garden ant. 

In this blog post, we have explored the various types of ants in Pennsylvania and discussed the different characteristics of each species.

We have also provided tips for identifying and controlling ant infestations in your home or yard.

Hope you’ve dived in and learned about Pennsylvania’s different types of ants!

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
John Smith
John Smith
2 months ago

Thanks for all the pictures you show. It makes the memories very special.

Kingsley Felix
Kingsley Felix
Reply to  John Smith
2 months ago

You’re welcome.
We are glad you like it

You May Also Like