It's common for homeowners to lump all ants into the same category, but not all ants have the same behaviors and characteristics.
Odorous house and fire ants, for example, are basically opposites in every aspect. Knowing what to look for can help you identify what pest has invaded your home. It may also help you solve your infestation problem because both of these types of ants are attracted to different things.
Odorous House Ants
Odorous house ants, which are simply referred to as odorous ants, come from the Latin name tapinoma sessile. They are identified by their black or brown bodies. They often measure around 2.4 to 3.3 millimeters in length and have an unevenly shaped thorax. Homeowners can distinguish odorous ants by the rotten coconut smell they emit when they are crushed.
Odorous Ant Habitat, Diet and Behavior
As you can guess by the name, odorous house ants are often found inside buildings. They love to nest inside the walls or underneath floors. Odorous ants, however, can build nests outside. When they do, the nest is usually located in mulch or flower beds, and the ants commonly invade homes on rainy days to escape the weather. Thankfully, odorous ants don't bite or sting, but they can contaminate human food. When it comes to food, they prefer sweet items but can also feed on grease and meat. Outdoors, they can be found looking for food around trash or honeydew.
Fire ants are given the Latin name solenopsis invicta. They are easy to identify thanks to their reddish bodies. Fire ants tend to vary in size more than odorous house ants, with a body length between 1.6 and 5 millimeters. In addition, this type of ant stings and if stung, it can cause much pain and irritation. However, unlike odorous ants, fire ants don't smell rotten when they are crushed.
Fire Ant Habitat, Diet and Behavior
These types of ants prefer to nest in the ground. Despite this, the nests can be seen from above ground via visible mounds that vary in height and diameter. Some fire ant colonies can be home to more than 250,000 worker ants. While odorous ants don't bite or sting, fire ants sting and are very aggressive. Any animal they feel is an intruder will be stung several times. These ants like to eat meat but will also eat sweet and greasy materials.
To learn more about either of these ants or for pest control services in North Carolina, contact Clegg’s online or on the phone at 888-672-5344 for a complete evaluation of your home or business.