Ants have been depicted as the most hardworking creatures on the planet and we are encouraged to emulate them. They are diligent in searching for food and they are disciplined to a fault always queuing and staying in line. They will give their lives to protect not just the queen but the entire colony. But because they typically look like a seething mass of black insects it can be hard to differentiate them.
Types of ants
There are eight typical types of invader ants which you can identify from appearance behavior and size. This will help you know what course of action to take against them.
The worker ants are between 2.2 mm and 2.8 mm with a brown color either light or dark. They love the shade during summer so beware of sitting under a tree as they nest in these areas. They don’t sting and their workers will smell musty when crushed. You can find these ants in South eastern states.
These are also known as acrobat ants and unlike the argentine ants which have one node these have two. Their worker ants grow up to 3 mm long. They love to nest in moist wood so you will find them outdoors or inside the damaged wood of a structure. Acrobat ants earned this nickname because they run with the abdomens lifted like scorpions when threatened looking like they will tumble forward. They can sting and are very aggressive.
These are structural ants that attack the wood excavating it to create nests. They grow up to 13 mm in length and they are found outside in trees and cut lumber. If you have a home in the woodlands you have to keep an eye out for these ants. They will sting if they are disturbed.
Like the argentine ants the crazy ant has one node and they nest in plants and soil. They love the heavy vegetation and you will find them strewn all over the Gulf coast of the United States. Interestingly they don’t have stingers but because they move around so much and very sporadically they earned the moniker crazy ants. They are prolific home invaders.
Asia needle ants
The Asian needle ants have worker ants that reach 5 mm in length. They are characterized by ark orange mandibles which they use to sting you if they are trapped against your skin. They are not the aggressors but they will defend themselves. They are popular in the southern states of the US like Alabama , Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia.
European fire ant
These ants have a fiery sting and will become aggressive when disturbed. They love the outdoors but during winter they will make their way indoor and nest under the bathtub or water heaters. They are naïve to New York, Canada, Rhode Island and Vermont. Their workers grow up to 5 mm in length.