Ants in Alabma
There are more than twelve thousand identified species of ants that vary widely in size, habitat, and anatomy. In North America alone there are nearly a thousand species. Of these, only about 13% can be considered pests for homes and businesses. Here in North Alabama, we could probably limit it down to about 50-75 species of ants that are considered pests.
While there are a somewhat limited number of pest ant species, often ant colonies and infestations can number in the hundreds of thousands to the millions upon millions.
Nuisance ants live up to their name, and tend to invade looking for food and water. They can infest foods and transmit disease. Ants commonly included in the nuisance category would be Argentine Ants, Odorous House Ants, Pavement Ants, Thief Ants, Little Black Ants, and several others.
Sugar ants like to nest in hidden and protected areas. These ants can be extremely difficult to control using over the counter products. For this pest we use specialized products that destroy the nest and queen. Most of the products available to consumers are repellent in nature to these sensitive bugs. While repellent products may run them off for a time, or even eliminate the few that are exposed during treatment, they do little to nothing to attack the root of the problem.
Fire ants are known for their reddish-brown and black color and painful sting. Contrary to common belief, the pain felt from a fire ant comes from a stinger located on the end of the abdomen and not from its bite. Fire ants can be dangerous to those with allergies. Even for those without allergies, they provide painful stings and inject small amounts of their venom when stinging. Their mounds are easily visible in your yard after a rainstorm, but are often hidden from site when the weather is dry. In addition to stings, they can damage vegetation, roads, and electrical systems. At Scout we have great options to control Fire Ants and keep them from your yard all year long.
Harvester Ants are not nearly as aggressive as fire ants, however, they do have a painful sting which they will deliver if disturbed. Harvester Ants are commonly found in yards and have small openings with large nests underground.
Carpenter ants are large and black and live in wood. They excavate in wood, which can weaken a structure. They’re not as bad as termites, however. Like nuisance ants, they can contaminate food.
Emerging Species of Ant, the Tawny Ant
Tawny Ants, previously known as Caribbean Crazy Ants, or Raspberry Crazy Ants.
These are a new and invasive species of ant making its way into Alabama. Since their discovery several years ago this ant was only seen in Florida and Texas, but in the past couple of years they have been making their way into the other gulf coast states. To our knowledge there has yet to be a confirmed infestation in Northern Alabama, but it will most likely be coming within the next few years.
Tawny Ants are unlike other ants for various reasons. They have the ability to heal themselves from fire ants venom, and outcompete and displace them when infesting a new area. Tawny ants walk in a rapid and sometimes erratic pattern as well. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the Tawny ant is the extremely high numbers that are produced from each colony. From personal experience treating these pests in the Houston area Jared has seen them pile up dead several inches deep, and still continue to cover the ground so thick that it looks like the dirt is moving. These pests are not something that can be taken care of on a DIY basis or even with an inexperienced company. If you suspect you have Tawny ants at your home or business call us today for a free identification and evaluation. Fortunately at Scout we have experience that most other local companies lack, and know the best methods and practices to control and eliminate this pest.
For any of these ant problems in your home or yard, Scout Pest Control can help!