Ants are some of the tiniest pests that infest homes in North Carolina – but don’t let their size fool you! Ants are persistent and clever little bugs that live in colonies of thousands or even millions, and they can be a real nuisance if they decide to start relying on your home for food or shelter.
But not all ants are the same; some are bigger and more troublesome than others. It is important to know what species of ant is giving you trouble in order to control them effectively. Continue reading to learn about the common species of ants found in North Carolina and the problems they can cause if they form a colony on your property.
Ant Species of North Carolina
- Acrobat Ants – Acrobat ants are named for an unusual defensive behavior: when threatened, they like to raise their abdomen over their head. These small ants grow to ⅛ inch long and come in a variety of colors. Acrobat ants aren’t as troublesome as some ant species, but they have been known to cause short circuits by chewing the insulation off of electrical wires.
- Argentine Ants – As their name suggests, these ants are natives of Argentina that are invasive in North Carolina. Argentine ants have shiny bodies and are usually only 1/16 inch long. Because of their tendency to forage on trash and carrion, Argentine ants are often carriers of salmonella and dysentery, which they can contaminate the food in your kitchen with.
- Big Headed Ants – Appropriately named for a head larger than their thorax, big headed ants are another ant species that is invasive in North Carolina. Big ants are reddish-brown and can range from ⅛ to ¼ inch long. Though more harmful to the ecosystem than your home, big headed ants are known to damage electrical wiring and irrigation.
- Carpenter Ants – Though named due to their affinity for woodwork, unlike a real carpenter, these ants tend to destroy wooden structures by tunneling through them to create nests. Carpenter ants are among the largest ant species in North Carolina, growing to ½ inch or more, and tend to be black, red or both. Carpenter ants are particularly drawn to moist wood and can cause severe damage to your wooden structures if they infest your home.
- Fire Ants – Invasive from South America, fire ants are some of the most troublesome ants found in North Carolina due to their venomous sting and aggressive temperament. Fire ants can easily be identified by their red bodies, which can be ⅛ to ⅜ inch long. If fire ants settle on your property, they’ll become very territorial and may attack you in a swarm if you step anywhere near their nest.
- Little Black Ants – Only 1/16 inch long and black as night, little black ants are perfectly named. One of the most common ant species in North Carolina, little black ants can be a nuisance because they tend to swarm during summer and raid kitchen cabinets, but they don’t pose any serious threat.
- Odorous House Ants – If you see odorous house ants raiding your kitchen pantry, don’t step on them; these ants give off a stench similar to rotten coconut, hence their name. Odorous house ants are 1/16 to ⅛ inch long and can be brown or black. Though not actively dangerous, these ants can contaminate food with harmful bacteria.
- Pavement Ants – Pavement ants are named because they commonly nest inside of cracks in the pavement. These ants are brown or black and grow to ⅛ inch long. While usually more of a sidewalk nuisance, pavement ants may infest your walls and floors.
Experienced Ant Exterminators in North Carolina
Whether they’re an active danger or a minor nuisance, ants aren’t something you want to find crawling all over your house. If you’re in need of professional ant control services in North Carolina, give Sustainable Pest Systems a call today!