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Ants are a social insect species that is mostly a nuisance for homeowners. Of the three most common ant species that can be found in the home, only one is a serious pest, with the other two being nuisances, and only one of those two is difficult to live with. No ant species are capable of spreading diseases, and unless you’re dealing with fire ants, you do not have to worry about getting stung. So let’s take a look at these common ant species and what you can expect if they decide to infest your home.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are a true pest species. The name of “carpenter ant” comes from the fact that these ants will build their colonies inside wood, just like some termite species, and they can do some extensive damage to the home if left unchecked. They are black in coloration and larger than regular ants. You might see them out in the open when they are foraging for food in your kitchen, living room or outdoors.

As one colony grows in size, it will set up satellite nests around the home, and these nests will spread out the damage to different areas. The colonies may also release swarmers when they are large enough, with swarmers being the reproductive flying ants of the colony which set out to start new nests. Some homeowners will only become aware of the infestation when these swarmers start to show up in the home. If you notice any large ants walking around, it’s best to call over a pest control professional who will perform an inspection and control process if needed.

Odorous House Ants

Of the two nuisance species, odorous house ants are by far the worst. As the name suggests, these ants will leave a foul smell that is similar to rotten coconut if they are killed. They do not usually set up colonies indoors, but they will enter the home to look for food, usually gaining access when vegetation is in contact with the building. Controlling odorous ant infestations can be difficult, so the best cure when dealing with this species is prevention. Make sure that you give them as few opportunities to feed as possible.

Pavement Ants

Pavement ants will nest under rocks or pavement, which is where they get their name from. Homeowners may become aware of these ants when they emerge from under concrete slabs, patios, sidewalks, driveways, or in basements. While these ants do possess a stinger, they will only strike if they are squeezed against the bare skin. So for example, if you pick one up and squeeze it between your fingers. Outside of that, they are mostly a minor nuisance.

It’s important to make sure that you are not dealing with carpenter ants whenever you notice these little insects foraging in your home. If you are having issues with ants, or if you have any questions about the different ant species that can infest a home, contact us today.