Different Species of Ants in New York

colony of ants on the ground

There are many different types of ants in Western New York, and knowing how to identify them is the first step in stopping an infestation. Carpenter ants, for example, burrow into wood and can damage your property. Pharaoh ants are small yellow ants that can be difficult to get rid of and are excellent at hiding. Here we will discuss the most common types of ants in New York and how to stop them from taking over your home! 

Ant Species in Western New York

While there are lower chances that ants can completely ruin your property, they can still provide many issues to homeowners which include house damage (depending on the ant), health risks, and attracting other pests into your home. If you reside in Western NY, look out for the following species: 

  • Pharaoh Ants 
  • Carpenter Ants
  • House Ants
  • Pavement Ants

Pharaoh Ants

Pharaoh ants can be identified by their small size and yellow or light brown tint color. They typically nest in warm, moist areas like kitchens and bathrooms. This species is also the only type of ant in New York that reproduces asexually, so if you see one, there is likely more hiding somewhere nearby. If they are not nesting indoors, you can typically see pharaoh ant colonies close to garden beds or near other vegetation. When the infestation is inside your home, look for nesting possibilities behind walls, in cabinets, and in refrigerator insulation. The best way to prevent a pharaoh ant infestation is to keep your home clean, leave no trace of food and water, and seal off all entry points to your home. 

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are the largest species in New York, measuring about a quarter-inch long. They get their name from their habit of building nests in wood, which they damage as they bore into it. You can easily identify carpenter ants by their black body and reddish-black head. If you see large numbers of these pests crawling around outside, they are likely looking for a new place to build a nest. Carpenter ants like to invade homes in late summer and early fall when outdoor temperatures start to cool down. If you have a carpenter ant infestation, you will notice small openings in the surface wood with debris under the openings. Another prime example would be moisture and soft spots in the wood. Similar to termites, carpenter ants can destroy your home if you don't take care of the problem sooner rather than later. To prevent a carpenter ant infestation, seal off all entry points to your home and keep it clean by removing food and water sources. Another easy way to prevent these pests from entering your home is to keep firewood at least 20 feet away from your home. 

House Ants

House ants are very common around any New York property. They are small black or brown ants that build their nests outside in the soil. You can identify a house ant nest by the small mounds of dirt that they create. House ants will invade your home looking for food and water and anytime there has been a spill that has not been cleaned up, you will be sure to see a house ant trail to locate the issue. They can be a nuisance, but they are not known to cause any damage to homes. To get rid of house ants, you can use a bait station or an insecticide spray. If you want solutions without using any toxic chemicals, make sure to keep all food sealed (including dog food.) Certain essential oils and items around your home that repel house ants include:

  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Peppermint
  • White Vinegar
  • Black Pepper
  • Lemon Oil

Pavement Ants

Pavement ants are one of the most common types of ants in New York. They get their name from the fact that they often nest in or under cracks of pavement. They are also known as sugar ants because they love to eat sweets. They can be identified by their black head and thorax, and light-colored abdomen. Pavement ants often build their nests outdoors near your home, so you may see them marching back and forth between their nest and your house, especially if they've spotted something sweet to share with their colony. These pests will eat a long list of foods that include meats, cheese, dairy, sweets, grease, and insects. To prevent these ants from invading your home, make sure to keep any food or sugary drinks sealed tightly, and clean up any spills right away. Make sure to keep dishes cleaned and crumbs off of the floor, because this is especially important as this species can invade by the hundreds in a very short time. 

Don't Share Your Home With Ants

If you have tried every DIY solution in the book and still seem to have ants entering your home and annoying you, look to Eco Serve Pest Services for expert ant control throughout Western, NY. Our exterminators have been servicing the local community for over 20 years and look to not only provide the fastest services, but eco-friendly services that don't interfere with the environment. We service areas that include Amherst, Tonowanda, Clarence, and many others!

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