19 Different Types of Ants in Wisconsin

Different Types of Ants in Wisconsin
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If you live in Wisconsin, chances are you’ve seen an ant or two scurrying around your yard.

But did you know that there are actually many different types of ants in Wisconsin? 

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the various species of ants found in the Badger State and where you’re likely to find them.

From carpenter ants to Pharaoh ants, get ready to learn all about the different types of ants in Wisconsin.

1. Tennessee Thread-Waisted Ant

The Tennessee Thread-Waisted Ant is a species of ant found in Wisconsin and other parts of the United States.

They are small in size and brownish-black in color. These ants have long, slender threads on their waists that give them their name.

They are most often seen around stumps and logs and in gardens, flower beds, and compost piles.

While they do not cause damage to structures or cause any health hazard, they can become a nuisance if they decide to nest in your yard.

If you do find these ants in your yard, it is best to contact a pest control company to help you get rid of them.

2. American Carpenter Ant

The American carpenter ant is one of the most common types of ants in Wisconsin.

They are easily recognizable due to their large size (up to 1⁄4 inch long) and black and reddish-brown coloring.

As their name suggests, carpenter ants are known for creating tunnels in wood and other cellulose materials.

They nest in damp, softwood and can create extensive damage if left unchecked.

To control these pests, you should keep your home and yard free of debris, seal off entry points, and repair any water damage.

If the infestation has become too large, you should contact a pest control expert for assistance.

3. New York Carpenter Ant

The New York carpenter ant is one of the most common types of ants in Wisconsin. This species of ant can be identified by its large size and black color.

They are typically found living in moist areas of the home, such as bathrooms and kitchens, as well as in gardens and wooded areas. 

The New York carpenter ant is a nuisance pest that can cause damage to wooden structures, such as homes and decks.

To get rid of them, homeowners should remove any food sources, seal off potential entry points, and call a professional exterminator if necessary.

4. American Cornfield Ant

The American Cornfield Ant (Lasius americanus) is a species of ant found in Wisconsin. It is also sometimes referred to as the Marsh Ant and is a type of field ant.

This species is typically brown or black with lighter-colored patches on its body and is most often found nesting in grassy areas like fields and lawns. 

They are attracted to sweet foods such as fruit juice and honeydew and are particularly fond of sweet fruits such as cherries, grapes, apples, and pears.

As foragers, they are known for following long trails that connect food sources back to their nest, allowing them to collect resources for their colony efficiently.

5. Acrobat Ant

Acrobat ants are a type of ant that you may find in Wisconsin. These small, black, and brown ants can be identified by their bent posture, which is why they are also known as “bended-legged” ants. 

These types of ants in Wisconsin can be found living in decaying wood, both inside and outside of homes.

As they feed on decaying wood, they often cause damage to wooden structures, such as window frames, door frames, or porch posts.

They can also become a nuisance indoors when they search for food, such as sweets and proteins. 

If you find acrobat ants in your home, it is important to take steps to get rid of them before they cause more damage.

Effective ways to control acrobat ants include using insecticides, eliminating any sources of moisture in your home, sealing up any cracks or crevices around your home, and removing any decaying wood from your home.

6. Silvery Field Ant

The Silvery Field Ant (Formica argentea) is a species of ant found in Wisconsin. This ant is usually gray or silver, with small black markings on its head and thorax.

It is distinguished from other ants by its long, slender antennae and unique antenna clubs. The Silvery Field Ant is typically found in fields, woodlands, and pastures. 

They often build their nests under stones, logs, or wood piles. While they are not considered a pest, these ants can sometimes invade houses in large numbers.

It is important to note that the Silvery Field Ant does not sting or bite. Rather, it has the ability to spray formic acid when threatened.

For this reason, if you encounter a Silvery Field Ant colony, it’s best to leave them alone unless you have an infestation problem.

7. Orange Crypt Ant

The Orange Crypt Ant is a type of ant found in Wisconsin that is known for its distinctive orange color.

These ants typically live in the soil and under rocks, logs, and other debris. They have a single pair of antennae and six legs and measure between 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch long. 

The best way to control these types of ants in Wisconsin is to remove any sources of food and water that may be attracting them, as well as seal any cracks or crevices around your home where they may be entering. Additionally, baits and insecticides can also be used if needed.

8. Cornfield Ant

The cornfield ant (Lasius flavus) is a species of ant found in Wisconsin and is usually seen living in fields of corn or other agricultural crops. They are around 3-4mm long and have a yellowish-brown color. 

These types of ants in Wisconsin are known for their aggressive behavior and large colonies, which can contain up to 50,000 workers.

Sometimes, these nests may even become “super colonies” that span across multiple acres of land.

While the main diet of the cornfield ant consists mainly of aphids and other small insects, they may also feed on the sugary sap produced by plants as well.

9. Shaded Fuzzy Ant

The Shaded Fuzzy Ant is one of the most interesting species of ant to be found in Wisconsin.

As their name implies, they are brownish-gray ants with fuzzy hair on their bodies, giving them a soft texture and appearance.

They can grow up to 6mm in length and are typically found outdoors in wooded areas, where they feed on plant matter, insects, and other small organisms.

These types of ants in Wisconsin are also known for their unique nesting behavior. They will construct their nests near the base of trees, often in shady and moist areas.

Inside the nest, they will build chambers and tunnels that allow them to store food and keep their colony safe from predators.

The Shaded Fuzzy Ant is a beneficial species, as it helps to aerate the soil and keeps pests away.

Despite this, they can still become a nuisance if they build nests too close to your home or garden, so it’s important to take steps to keep them away if you don’t want them around.

10. Yellow Meadow Ant

The yellow meadow ant (Lasiomymex spp.) is a small ant species found in Wisconsin.

This ant is an aggressive species and has a bright yellowish-orange color. It is also known as the little fire ant due to its fiery temperament and its tiny size. 

The yellow meadow ant is usually found in open, sunny areas and tends to feed on dead insects. This species can bite or sting humans when threatened, causing a burning sensation.

If you come across a yellow meadow ant in your home, you should use a vacuum cleaner to remove it.

If the infestation is large, you should contact a professional pest control service for help.

11. Turfgrass Ant

The turfgrass ant is a species of ant found throughout Wisconsin. It is found in urban and rural areas and is commonly seen during spring and summer.

This type of ant is about 3 to 6 mm long and has a reddish-brown color. The turfgrass ant feeds on various insects, including other ants and spiders, as well as nectar and honeydew. 

These types of ants in Wisconsin are often found nesting in the soil near grasses and other vegetation. They can also be found nesting in flower pots and other outdoor containers.

The turfgrass ant has the ability to create trails between food sources, making it an efficient scavenger.

Controlling the turfgrass ants can be done with insecticides, but it is important to use products specifically designed for use against ants.

12. Wide-legged Citronella Ant

The Wide-legged Citronella Ant is one of the less common types of ants found in Wisconsin. This ant gets its name from the distinct lemon-scented odor it emits.

It has a dark brown body with yellow markings and long, thin legs. It is often found near wood piles and wooded areas where it feeds on plant nectar and aphids. 

When threatened, this ant produces an unpleasant odor that can be mistaken for citronella.

The Wide-legged Citronella Ant is an omnivore that feeds on plants and small insects. They are most active during the day and prefer warm, humid climates.

Despite their strong odor, the Wide-legged Citronella Ant has not considered a major pest species and is mostly a nuisance.

13. Velvety Tree Ant

These ants are omnivorous and will feed on plants, insects, and small animals. They build nests in trees, hence their name, and prefer moist areas. They will also construct tunnels and chambers in the ground.

It is important to note that these ants can become nuisance pests if they establish large colonies.

They can enter homes through tiny openings in search of food, so if you notice an influx of these ants in or around your home, it is best to contact a pest control professional for assistance.

14. Little Black Ant

The little black ant (Monomorium minimum) is a small ant species found in Wisconsin. It is characterized by its black coloration and small size, with a body length of about 1/16th of an inch.

It typically prefers moist areas near leaking pipes or under kitchen sinks and feeds mainly on sweets and proteins. 

These types of ants in Wisconsin are most active during the warmer months and may enter homes to forage for food.

Although they can become a nuisance, they do not bite or sting. If an infestation occurs, insecticides can be used to eliminate them.

15. Hairy Big-headed Ant

The Hairy Big-headed Ant is one of the less common types of ants in Wisconsin. It is an active forager and usually lives in colonies in the soil.

Its body is reddish-brown with yellowish-brown legs, and its head is covered with short hair. Its antennae are elbowed and can grow to a size of up to 6mm. 

The Hairy, Big-headed Ant feeds mostly on live and dead insects but also consumes plant matter and honeydew from aphids and other insects.

It is commonly found in dry grasslands, pastures, and open fields where there is plenty of food. To control these ants, you should eliminate food and moisture sources near your home.

16. Pennsylvanica Hunter Ant

The Pennsylvanica hunter ant is one of the rarest and most mysterious types of ants in Wisconsin.

It is believed to be native to the state but has not been studied extensively due to its relative rarity. 

This type of ant is known for its large size and black coloration, which makes it relatively easy to spot.

It is also a predatory ant, which means it hunts other insects and small animals as part of its diet.

The Pennsylvania hunter ant usually lives in open woods and grassy areas, though they have also been found in urban settings. 

They are often found near wet areas, such as streams or ponds, and they often feed on other small insects.

These ants are solitary, meaning they do not form large colonies like other ant species. This makes them difficult to study, as well as difficult to control if they become a nuisance.

17. False Honey Ant

The false honey ant is a type of ant found in Wisconsin. False honey ants are small, measuring about 1/4 of an inch long, and are dark brown to black in color.

They have a single node on their petiole, unlike other types of ants, which have two nodes. To get rid of false honey ants, it is important to identify the source of the problem.

If the ants are coming from nearby shrubs or trees, then pruning or trimming these plants can help reduce the number of ants. Other methods for controlling false honey ants include using insecticides or baits.

18. Pillage Ant

In Wisconsin, the pillage ant is an important part of the ecosystem because it helps control populations of other insect pests. They also play a role in the pollination and decomposition of organic matter.

So even though this may not be as commonly seen as other types of ants, it still plays an important role in the environment.

Their colored abdomens are approximately 1/8 inch long. They usually build their nests outside around fields or near buildings. These ants feed on insects, seeds, and other plant material.

19. Odorous House Ant

The odorous house ant (Tapinoma sessile) is one of the most common types of ants in Wisconsin.

These ants are small and reddish-brown in color and have a distinct odor that smells like rotten coconut when crushed. They tend to nest in moist areas, such as near leaking pipes or in woodpiles. 

Odorous house ants feed on sweets, proteins, and fats and have been known to invade homes looking for food. They can also be found in gardens and lawns, where they feed on plant secretions.

Although these ants are typically harmless to humans, they can become a nuisance when they invade homes.

To control an infestation, it is best to call a pest control expert who can identify and treat the problem.


Wisconsin is home to various ant species, some of which are native and others that have been introduced from other parts of the world.

We explored the different types of ants in Wisconsin and discussed some of their unique characteristics.

From the large and impressive carpenter ant to the small but pesky pavement ant, each species brings its own interesting behaviors and characteristics to the Wisconsin ecosystem. 

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