Types of Ants
Types of Ants in Canada
There are over 12,000 kinds of ants worldwide, so narrowing down which ones are in your backyard may be more challenging than you think. In Canada some types of ants are more common than others. In Ontario, there are three common types of ants you should be on the look out for. If you discover any of these kinds of ants, call Magical’s Ant Control Division for assistance with ant removal.
Carpenter ants are the largest of all ant species, recognizable for their size. A worker carpenter ant can reach up to 1.3 cm. Carpenter ants are usually black, but slight variations in species may make them appear more brown or red.
Carpenter ants derive their name from their choice of nesting place. They prefer to create nests by burrowing into wood. Though they tunnel into wood, carpenter ants will not eat it. Carpenter ants’ diet is primarily sugar based, so foods with high sugar content can attract them.
Pharaoh ants are a small type of ant, measuring only 1.5 to 2 mm in length. They typically appear golden red in colour. They originated in the tropics, and therefore are unable to withstand the harsh Canadian winters. They are common during warmer months, however.
Pharaoh ants prefer to burrow near water and food sources. They are especially attracted to meat and grease, so they are often found in or near kitchens. They choose to burrow into warm, hard-to-reach locations such as baseboards, countertops or splashboards.
Pavement ants range from about 4 to 10 mm long. They have dark-coloured bodies with lighter brown legs. Like carpenter ants, pavement ants are attracted to sweet foods. Ant baits with sugars or proteins are usually an effective treatment method, however if a nest cannot be located, a barrier spray treatment should be applied to foundations and soil adjacent to the problem area.
Other Types of Ants
So what about those other pesky types of ants you’ve heard of? Thankfully, they’re probably not going to be a problem. Carpenter ants, pharaoh ants and pavement ants make up most of the ant-related problems in Canada. Canadians can discount the infamous fire ant and army ant species as potential problems. Neither fire ants nor army ants are common to temperate areas like Ontario. So if you think you’ve found fire ants or army ants, double check the list of ants above, because they’re the more likely culprits.
Why is it that people fear fire ants and army ants above other types of ants?
Fire ants are native to areas that are warm year-round. Though they can be found in the Southeastern US, they are not usually found in Canada. However, in recent years they have been discover in pockets in Canada due to travellers transporting them home. If you suspect you have seen fire ants, contact a pest company immediately.
Fire ants are distinguished from other species of ants by their distinctive copper head. They are approximately 2 to 6 millimeters in size. Unlike many types of ants, fire ants build their nests in soil in large open spaces such as shorelines, parks and lawns. Though fire ants are known for their feisty bite, they are actually not aggressive unless agitated.
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