More Trouble than You Might Think

Dozens of species of ants call our region home, and each kind finds its own, unique way to trouble your home or property.

Many types, like common black ants, seem harmless enough when they’re out in the yard. But ants are on a never-ending search for food, often stray far from the colony in their search, and are adept at fitting through the tiny cracks in the exterior barriers of your home or business. When one finds your pantry or garbage can, you can bet he’ll be back with friends, and you may end up with a constant stream that never seems to go away.

Beyond ruining food, other types of ants, like fire ants, can pose health risks with their painful, allergy-inducing bites, while carpenter ants wreak havoc on your wood and siding.

If you see signs of ant activity, Dixie is here to help.

Ants Crawling Up Side Of House

Some ants can carry up to three times their weight.

Georgia is home to more than 100 ant species, and these ants pose a huge pest problem for many states in the South. George has a particularly tough time with ants, because a lot of the ant species dwell inside households. Despite this, ants are an important part of the ecosystem, and not all ants are harmful. Knowing the types of ants can help you decide which types of ants act as pests and which types are harmless creatures.

Reasons for Ant Populations

  • In a recent study conducted at the University of Georgia, scientists sought to study the diverse and numerous species of ants in the state. After finding more than 96 species of ants, the scientists concluded that the diversity of ant population must be due to Georgia having so many different types of terrains: the Atlantic Coast, flatwoods, southern coastal plains, sand hills, black lands, southern Piedmont region, southern Appalachian Mountains, ridges and valleys, sand mountains, and the Blue Ridge. These areas contain different amounts of soil, moisture and sunlight, which are conditions that affect the types of ants that can inhabit an area.

Types of Ants

  • Whereas there are more than 96 species of ants in Georgia, all of the major and minor ant species can be broken down into three categories: household ants, forest ants and desert ants. Some ant species may belong to multiple categories. Household ants include red ants, carpenter ants and Argentine ants. Forest ants occupy dense environments with a lot of moisture, and desert ants need little water and burrow underground to survive scorching heat.

Household Ants

  • Argentine ants, which are one of the most common household ants, are one-tenth of an inch long and are dark black. They occupy homes to search for water and food, and they can be found in dark and damp areas of the house, such as in the attic or under the foundation. Carpenter ants chew through wood to create a nesting place for themselves, which earns them the title of carpenter. They are typically three-eighths of an inch long and have yellow and black hairs. Fire ants, which measure in at one-fourth of an inch and are red, search homes for food and can bite humans with great force.

Major Species of Ants

  • The most populous ant populations in Georgia come from these species: Aphaenogaster picea, Crematogaster ashmeadi, Myrmecina americana, Paratrechina faisonensis, Prenolepis imparis and Solenopsis molesta. Aphaenogaster picea, Crematogaster ashmeadi, Myrmecina americana and Prenolepis imparis are commonly founded in wooded and forested areas with a lot of moisture and brush. Paratrechina faisonensis and Solenopsis molesta are more commonly found in dry and desert areas, such as the sand hills of Georgia.

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