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Common Ants That Invade New Jersey Properties Every Summer


You've probably heard the children's song, "The ants go marching one by one…." Well, the writer of that song didn't live in New Jersey in the springtime, because, when the weather warms up, the ants in New Jersey can go marching into homes and businesses by the thousands if you are not prepared. In this article, we are going to explore some of the most common ant species in the state (Acrobat ants, odorous house ants, pavement ants, pharaoh ants, and carpenter ants) as well as the dangers they pose and what we can do to try to eliminate them.

Acrobat Ants

While these ants do not do somersaults or cartwheels, they are aptly named because they have the ability to lift their abdomen over their head, which is quite unique in the ant kingdom. They are black to light brown in color, workers grow to be between 2.5 and 4 mm in length, and they have 2 nodes between the thorax and abdomen. Because their abdomens are a heart shape, some call these ants Valentine ants. If you are noticing these tiny ants inside your home, it is possible that you also have wood-destroying insects in your walls, since acrobat ants use tunnels and galleries established inside wood by other pests.

Odorous House Ants

These ants are black to dark brown and are around 3 mm long. Odorous house ants have a beehive-shaped abdomen, a single, flat, hidden node between the thorax and abdomen, and smell bad when squished. The noxious odor they emit has been aptly described as smelling like rotten coconuts. Although these ants do not bite or sting, they are known to contaminate foods since they forage in filthy places, then get into pantries and kitchens.

Pavement Ants

These tiny ants are only around 3 mm in length. They vary in color from dark brown to black and they have parallel furrows, or lines, on the head and thorax. Their posterior thorax has 2 spines that project upward and they carry a stinger in their last abdominal segment. Called pavement ants because this is where they often nest, they also can become a major nuisance when they enter buildings in large numbers.

Pharaoh Ants

These ants are amber or yellowish in color with dark brown or black abdomens. They grow to be around 1/4 mm in length and are considered the most difficult ant pest to completely eliminate from structures. Pharaoh ants are known to spread salmonella as well as other harmful diseases.

Carpenter Ants

These are large black ants that grow to be as large as 13 mm long. Although they do not build things out of wood, they are very good at carving into wooden structures. They use strong mandibles to dig out tunnels and galleries inside wood in order to establish nests. Inside these nests, more ants are created. If left alone to multiply and grow their numbers, carpenter ants can do extensive damage to a structure over time. As the structure is carved into by these wood-destroying creatures, beams and walls can weaken, causing windows and doors to malfunction and walls, floors and ceilings to develop bulges or slopes.

Ants Are A Year-Round Problem

While many ants burrow deep into the ground when the weather turns cold, some remain active in homes all year long. Carpenter ants are a good example of this. As long as they are established inside walls where there is enough heat, they will continue carving tunnels and galleries year round. Because these (and other ants) can establish themselves inside and can be active during the winter, it is best to partner with a pest management professional for year-round control of ants.

At Arrow Pest Control, we offer several cost-effective programs to deal with ants and other pests. If you live in New Jersey, start here by scheduling a free home estimate.



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