Types of Ants in Virginia
Sep 25, 2017
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Ants crawling on leaves

An ant infestation can seem small, but an ant colony can be made up of over 300,000 ants in and around your home. This is why it's crucial to identify and treat the pest problem as soon as possible. Our ant exterminators are experts at identifying the source and extent of your infestation, no matter what species of ants are plaguing you.

Argentine Ants (Linepithema humile)

These small, dark-colored ants, about one-sixteenth of an inch long, are originally from South America but have been introduced to many other parts of the world, including the southeastern United States. Argentine ants are very aggressive and will displace native ant species, as well as other insects, from their nesting sites in their search for food and water.

Asian Needle Ant (Pachymerus gigas)

The Asian needle ant is a species of ant that is native to southern China. It was first discovered in the United States in the early 1990s and has since spread to other parts of the country, including Virginia. This ant gets its name from its long, thin needles which are used to sting prey and predators.

Caribbean Crazy Ants (Paratrechina longicornis)

Caribbean crazy ants are little, black ants that get their name from the fact that they are originally from the Caribbean island of Hispaniola and are known to run in an erratic, jerky manner when searching for food.

Carpenter Ants (Camponotus spp.)

Carpenter ants get their name because they excavate wood in order to build their nests. Their excavation results in smooth tunnels inside the wood. Carpenter ants range in color from black to red and in size from one-quarter inch for a worker ant to up to three-quarters inch for a queen.

Carpenter ants can cause significant damage to buildings if left unchecked, so if you suspect an infestation, contact ant exterminators immediately, especially as they are also commonly confused with termites in Virginia.

Odorous House Ants (Tapinoma sessile)

The odorous house ant, also known as Sugar Ant, is a type of small, brown ant that gets its name from the strong, rotten coconut-like smell it gives off when crushed. These tiny insects range in size from one-sixteenth of an inch to one-eighth of an inch long.

Pavement Ants (Tetramorium caespitum)

Pavement ants are small, black ants that is common in Virginia. These ants get their name from their habit of nesting in cracks and crevices in the pavement, though they can also infest structures in their search for food, water, and shelter.

Pharaoh Ants (Monomorium pharaonis)

The Pharaoh ant is a species of ant that is native to Africa but was introduced to the United States in the early 1900s. This ant gets its name from its yellow-colored body and its long, slender legs. 

Red Imported Fire Ants (Solenopsis invicta)

The red imported fire ant is a species of ant that is native to South America and introduced to the United States in the 1930s. This type of ant gets its name from its reddish-brown color and its ability to sting prey and predators. It tends to nest in soil, building large mound nests. They are known to infest yards and garages.

Tawny Crazy Ants (Paratrechina longicornis)

The tawny crazy ant is a species of ant that is native to Africa but wasn't introduced to the United States until the early 2000s. This ant gets its name from its tawny-colored body and its erratic, "crazy" movement, similar to the Caribbean Crazy Ant.

How To Get Rid of Ants

The most effective way to identify, treat, and permanently get rid of an ant infestation is by calling a pest control company with a certified ant exterminator. With the appropriate expertise, equipment, and experience, Getem Services is here to provide guaranteed ant removal, as well as a wide variety of pest control services.

What Are The Most Common Types of Ants in Virginia?

The most common ant species you will find in Virginia are the carpenter ant, the odorous house ant, and the pavement ant.

Are Ants Dangerous?

Most ant species are not dangerous to humans. However, there are a few species that can sting or bite, which can cause pain and irritation—the most prominent of which is the fire ant.

What Attracts Ants To Your Home?

There are a number of things that can attract ants to your home. Some of the most common include food sources, moisture, and shelter. The most common types of food that attract ants are sweet foods, such as sugary drinks, fruit juices, baked goods like cookies, candy, jams, and other sources of sugar, though they can also be attracted to greasy foods or even pet food that has been left out.

How Do Ants Get Into My House?

There are a few ways that ants can get into your home:

  • Cracks and crevices: Ants can enter through tiny cracks and crevices around doors, windows, and wall voids.
  • Vents and utility pipes: Ants can also enter through vents and utility pipes that lead into your home.
  • Houseplants: Sometimes, ants will hitch a ride on houseplants that are brought inside.

Once ants get inside, the pheromone trails they leave behind can easily attract more, leading to an infestation within a matter of days.

How To Keep Ants Out Of Your Home

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) encourages homeowners to take proactive steps to keep ants out of your house, including:

  • Wiping up crumbs and spills immediately
  • Keeping food in sealed containers and disposing of garbage regularly
  • Keeping pet food and water dishes clean and remove any spilled food
  • Sealing any cracks and holes on the outside of the home with silicone caulk
  • Repairing holes or gaps in window and door screens
  • Replacing weather-stripping and repairing loose mortar around the basement foundation and windows
  • Keeping tree branches and other shrubs well-trimmed and away from the house
  • If you see signs of an ant infestation in the home, contacting a licensed pest professional immediately.
Will Ants Damage My House and Property? 

While most ant species do not pose a threat to humans, some can cause damage to property. Carpenter ants are one of the most common house-damaging ants in the United States. These large ants nest in wood, which can lead to structural damage if left unchecked. Other ant species, such as Pharaoh ants, are known to cause damage by short-circuiting electrical equipment.

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