Most ants that get into New Jersey homes are super annoying; but that's about it. If you're finding ants crawling all over the outside of your home, or getting inside, it is likely that they're not going to present a threat to you. That doesn't mean you want them around, it just means that you don't need to be overly concerned. Ants are generally a low risk for the spread of illness. It is only when ants are exposed to rotting things (like juices in the bottom of your trash) and then they find their way into your stored food packages that they start to become a threat. But we do have two ant types that are considered to be dangerous in New Jersey. One is a danger to your health. The other is a danger to your property. It is important that you know how to identify both.
When it comes to spreading illness, Pharaoh ants are a plague. This is because these ants are drawn to open wounds and rotting things. Inside your home, they'll present a threat for illness. They're also difficult to control. Pharaoh ant colonies have multiple queens, this can lead to colony budding if you attempt to eliminate them with a control agent. It is best to have a licensed professional handle these ants.
Identification of Pharaoh Ants
At around 1/16 of an inch long, a Pharaoh ant isn't much to look at. If you see only one, which is rare, it will not look like much more than a little speck running around. So if we were to explain to you that they have two nodes between the thorax and abdomen, it wouldn't help you all that much with identifying them. It would also be unproductive to tell you that they are pale in color because this isn't always the case. Sometimes they're yellowish, reddish, or even black. We could say that they have antennae with 12 segments that end with a 3-segmented club. But again; not helpful. This makes identification of Pharaoh ants difficult. One thing to look for is the fact that they are monomorphic. This is to say that all the workers are the same size. This is one way to help with differentiating Pharaoh ants from other ants without catching one and putting it under a magnifying glass. Sadly, this may be what you'll have to do if you're seeing thousands of tiny 1/16 of an inch ants getting into your New Jersey home. Proper identification is key to proper ant control.
These ants create galleries inside wood. If they choose to create galleries inside the wood of your home, it can be a danger to your retirement savings and equity. Carpenter ant damage doesn't happen overnight; it happens over time. Failing to properly identify these ants when you see them can lead to costly repairs.
Identification of Carpenter Ants
The most destructive carpenter ant is the black carpenter ant. As you can probably guess, they are entirely black. This helps with identification. They're also the largest ants that will get into your New Jersey home. Workers will be around ⅝ of an inch long. Being a large ant will allow you to see that they have one node between the thorax and abdomen. You may also be able to see that they have handlebar antennae. If you find black ants that are crawling around near wood damage, this is another indication that they are carpenter ants. But you need to look for these ants at night. They are mostly nocturnal.
What To Do About Dangerous Ants
No matter what type of ant you're finding in your home, it is best to let a pest professional deal with your ant problem--but even more so if you have one of these two dangerous ants inside your home. If you're in our New Jersey service area, contact AMCO Pest Solutions for advanced pest control you can trust. We offer one-time and year-round pest control services. Let one of our experienced pest professionals guide you toward the right solution for your specific needs.
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