Ant Identification

There are several types of ants commonly found in and around New Jersey homes and businesses.  They include:

Little black ants

Little black ants are a small species of ant that can easily invade homes through small cracks and crevices in foundations and around windows and doors.  Adults are dark brown or dark black in color and grow to be about 1/16th of an inch in length.  Little black ants have a distinctively uneven body shape and a two-segmented waist; they do have a stinger but it is too small to create much of a threat to people.  These ants are omnivores and will feed on insects, vegetables, sweets, other insects, and greasy or oily foods.

Pavement ants

Pavement ants are dark brown to black in color, their legs are a lighter color than their body and they have lighter colored parallel lines running down their head and thorax. Adult workers grow to be about 1/8th of an inch in length. Pavement ants are known for creating their nests under concrete structures like sidewalks, patios, and slabs.  These ants will invade homes, patios, and decks in large numbers and have the ability to bite and sting.

Argentine ants

Argentine ants are dark brown in color and have a segmented, oval shaped body. Adult workers range in length from 1/16th to 1/4th of an inch. They are known for their massive colony sizes which sometimes contain hundreds of queens. These ants will eat anything that they come across but prefer to feed on sweet foods.  Argentine ants can also be identified by the musty smell they give off when crushed.

Field ants

Field ants rarely infest homes; they are mostly found invading gardens and other landscaped areas. They have an unevenly rounded shape to the upper side of their body and are pale yellow, reddish-brown, black, or a combination of these colors. Adult workers range in length from 1/8th- 3/8th of an inch.  Field ants are scavengers but prefer to eat honeydew which is a sweet substance that insects like mealy bugs and aphids produce.  These ants don’t sting but they can deliver a painful bite if they are disturbed or threatened.

Pharaoh ants

Pharaoh ants have a yellow to red body, with the abdomen being darker in color. Adults grow to be about 1/6th of an inch in length. Pharaoh ants commonly invade buildings and can thrive year-round inside due to the artificial heat.  They are problematic in the food service industry and hospitals because they spread disease and contaminate food and sterilized hospital equipment.

Most ants in New Jersey are just nuisance ants, but some can bite or sting. They come into homes and businesses looking for food and water. You can’t get rid of your ant problem by just killing the few that you happen to see.

Bites or Stings

Contaminates Food

Damages Landscapes

Damages Structures

Difficult to Eradicate

Nuisance Pest

Pantry Pest

Structure Invading

Ants tend to be more active indoors in the spring and fall months when they venture inside foraging for food and water.

Odorous House Ant

Odorous House Ants are dark brown to black/brown ants that are about 1/16th of an inch in size with an oval, segmented body.  While these pests are not known to carry diseases to humans, they do emit a very offensive ‘rotten coconut’ odor when crushed.  These pests are particularly drawn to sweets and melons and are very good at contaminating food supplies in your pantry and cupboards.

Carpenter Ants

To learn more about wood damaging carpenter ants, please visit our carpenter ant pest identification page.

Dangers Associated With Ants

While most of the ants mentioned above are considered nuisance ants and are more annoying than threatening, some ants will contaminate food and equipment.  Ant bites are not typically dangerous and may not even be noticeable.

Ant Prevention

There are many things that you can do as a homeowner to stop any species of ant from invading your home.  The best prevention step to take is inspecting the outside of your home and fixing the areas that may attract ants and/or allow them to get inside.

Trim back overgrown trees and bushes from the exterior of your home; make sure that outdoor trash cans have locking lids and that trash is regularly removed from your property.  Seal any cracks and crevices in your home’s foundation or exterior walls, caulk any gaps that are found around exterior windows, and install door sweeps on all exterior doors.  It can also be helpful to make sure there is a stone or rock barrier between any grass or mulch and the foundation of your home.

There are also steps that you can take inside your home to stop ants from being attracted to it to forage for food.  Regularly remove trash, and make sure not to leave dirty dishes in your sink or on counters and stovetops overnight.  It is important to store food in sealed containers or in the refrigerator and not out in the open on counters or tables; and, of course, clean up spills and crumbs quickly!

Ant Treatment

While there are many DIY treatments available at retail stores, they only treat the tip of the iceberg- the few ants that you see in your home.  In order to truly eliminate an ant infestation all of the foraging ants and all of the nesting areas need to be found and eliminated.  Also, if DIY ant products are not mixed or used properly, they are potentially very dangerous for you, your family and your pets to be around.

The best way to completely get rid of an ant problem, no matter what the species, is with the help of an ant control professional.  At ChemTec Pest Control, our home pest control professionals will provide year-round safe and natural ant control services that include finding and eliminating all ants and their nests from your home and property and providing continued ant control services to prevent future problems with them.

For information on our PestGuard Home Protection plan and how it can help you get rid of ants, please contact us today!

Latest News & Blogs

21 March

Why You Shouldn’t Hesitate to Call ChemTec If You Have Bed Bugs

Imagine the horror of discovering that your home is infested…

Read Post

19 March

When Will Ants Start Returning to Union County Lawns?

In New Jersey, the cold weather is starting to pass.…

Read Post

12 March

Problems Pest Birds Bring to New Jersey Homes and Businesses

Some birds are absolutely beautiful and entertaining to watch in…

Read Post

Satisfaction Promise!

Ask about our unlimited service options protecting you and controlling 60+ pests with guaranteed results.

If you have a problem with the pest after our services, just call us and we will come back to retreat for that pest at no charge within the warranty period. If after a warranty retreatment you are still not satisfied, we will return your money.

We mean business when we say we guarantee your satisfaction*, but of course from a QualityPro Certified pest control business you would expect no less.