Ants: The Spring House Guest No One Wants, But Nearly Everyone GetsNPMA Staff
Monday, April 12, 2010
Springtime is ant time as ants march into homes in
search of food. With more than 700 species of ants in the U.S. and
about two dozen classified as pests, many homeowners will likely
encounter these unwelcome visitors.
"Ants are more than a nuisance. They can contaminate food, bite
when threatened and damage our property," noted Missy Henriksen,
vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management
Association. "However, which species of ant invades can depend on
Here are some species homeowners should lookout for this
ants get their name from the strong, rotten coconut-like smell
they give off when crushed. Odorous house ants like sweets and are
found in exposed soil and wall cracks in every region of the
typically tunnel into soft wood to build their nests and need a
constant water source to survive. This species is found across the
U.S. and can cause significant property damage.
fire ants will build their nest mounds in landscape areas or
near structural foundations. The sting of a red imported fire ant
is painful and often results in a welt and can cause severe
allergic reactions. These ants are most common in southern
are found in southeastern parts of the U.S. and California.
Argentine ant colonies can grow to monumental size. The ant gives
off a musty odor when crushed. They prefer to eat sweets, but will
eat almost anything including meats, eggs, oils and fats. Argentine
ant colonies are located in wet environments near a food
Crazy Rasberry ants,
first found in Texas in 2002, have spread to Mississippi and
Louisiana and could spread to other southern states. They feed on
plants, insects, and small animals, can bite humans, and are oddly
attracted to electrical equipment.
For more information on ants or to find a pest professional
in your area, visit: www.pestworld.org.
NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 7,000 members, was
established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's
commitment to the protection of public health, food and