Common Household Ants in California
There are eight ant species that most likely to be a nuisance in California. Ants invade homes, warehouses, and businesses to forage for food or to seek shelter or both. Thrasher Termite & Pest Control has been eliminating ant problems for over 35 years.
We begin by identifying the species of ant and nest location. Then we apply the most effective solution for for your specific situation. Ants may be controlled with a combination of good sanitation, removing pheromone trails, caulking entry points and eliminating active nests. Baits and other Integrated Pest Management techniques are used to kill and destroy active nests, along with strategies used to prevent further infestation.
Carpenter ants are often confused with termites because of the amount of wood damage they cause. Carpenter ants feed on sources of protein and sugar. Outdoors, carpenter ants feed on living and dead insects. They are also very attracted to honeydew, a sweet liquid produced by aphids and scale insects. Indoors, carpenter ants feed on meats, as well as syrup, honey, sugar, jelly, and other sweets. Carpenter ants DO NOT eat wood. They remove wood as they create galleries and tunnels to live in and are very destructive.
Carpenter ants are one of the largest ants in California. While there are three common types of Carpenter ants, there is really only one thing a property owner needs to know: it takes a pest control professional to get rid of these hardy ants.
Pavement ants feed on honeydew, insects, sweets, fruit, and greasy foods, including pet food both indoors and outdoors.
Pavement ant workers are all the same size, 3/16-inch long and dark brown to black in color.
Most colonies are located under sidewalks, lawns, stones, and boards. Ants enter buildings through the smallest opening in foundation walls. These ants respond well to baiting.
Argentine ants prefer sweets but will eat almost anything including meat, egg, oil and fat. Also, when foraging for food, Argentine ants leave pheromone trails everywhere they go, instead of just from nest to food source. This efficient habit ensures they do not waste time visiting the same area twice.
Argentine ants nest just about anywhere. The worker ants are 1/16″ to 1/4″ long and easily squeeze through the smallest cracks and holes. They nest in the ground, in cracks in concrete walls, in spaces between boards and timbers, and in your house!
Argentine ants farm aphids. Argentine ants sometimes tend aphid colonies in gardens. They protect aphids from predators (we’ve seen them stage group attacks on ladybugs). Argentine ants become aphid farmers in order to feast off the aphid excretion known as honeydew.
Argentine ants respond well to baiting, but are a very persistent ant and annual invasions are common.
Other Common Nuisance Ants of California
- Odorous house ant
- Pharaoh ant
- Red imported fire ant
- Southern fire ant
- Thief ant