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Common Ants of the Midwest

It is important to identify common ants of the Midwest.


The Midwest is known for its diverse and abundant wildlife, but homeowners and business owners find ants more of a nuisance than a wild attraction. Whether you reside in an urban or rural setting, you’ve likely encountered these insects at some point; they are a widespread problem throughout the Midwest.

From carpenter ants to odorous house ants, the Midwest is home to numerous ant species. Understanding the various types of ants found in the Midwest and how to control them is crucial, as it will allow you to maintain a pest-free and comfortable home.

This article will examine the most common ant species in the Midwest and provide tips for keeping them out of your home.

Types of Ants in the Midwest

You may have encountered ants in your home if you reside in the Midwest as a homeowner or renter. These small pests can be troublesome and difficult to control. However, with a little effort and knowledge, you can keep ants at bay.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants dominate the Midwest. They are well-known for their large size, averaging between a quarter and an inch in length, and their ability to cause structural damage to homes. Carpenter ants can cause extensive damage to wooden structures, such as beams, roofing, and flooring, through their wood-boring behavior. They are attracted to decaying and wet wood.

To prevent them from establishing a colony, it is essential to address issues such as water leaks and sources of moisture in the home, as well as eliminate stagnant water sources such as clogged gutters.

If you suspect a carpenter ant infestation, immediate action is required. Look for frass, also known as sawdust, near the nests and inspect the wood for holes or damage. If you discover evidence of carpenter ants, contact a professional pest control company, such as Van Den Berg Pest Control, at 616-392-7367 for an evaluation and treatment strategy.

It is essential to take preventative measures to safeguard your home from carpenter ants. Regularly inspecting your home for moisture problems and keeping it clean and devoid of food crumbs can prevent carpenter ants’ infestation.

Odorous House Ants

When crushed, these ants emit a strong, unpleasant odor, hence their name. Odorous ants are small, dark-brown to black in color, typically less than one-eighth of an inch in length, and frequently attracted to sugary, fatty, and high-carbohydrate foods.

Common in kitchens and pantries, they can be difficult to control without professional assistance. This species, like carpenter ants, are attracted to wet environments, such as the edges of the bathroom floor and other leaky pipes.

Cleaning up crumbs and spills as soon as they occur will go a long way toward eliminating odorous ants from your home or office. Ensure that all kitchen and pantry foods are properly sealed.

Pavement Ants

Pavement ants are small, dark, brown-colored ants that typically measure less than one-eighth of an inch in length and are renowned for their ability to construct expansive, soil-based nests.

In and around homes, patios, and sidewalks, they are frequently attracted to sugary substances. These ants are difficult to control because they can rapidly colonize new areas and establish new nests.

These small ant species inhabit cracks and crevices in concrete surfaces such as sidewalks and driveways. Therefore, ensure that cracks and crevices in your home’s foundation and around windows and doors are properly sealed.

Thief Ants

These are small, yellow to light brown in color, and are attracted to sweet and fatty foods.

They are known for stealing food from other ant colonies, hence their name. A thief ant infestation can be avoided by regularly inspecting your home for food sources, cleaning up spills and crumbs, and using ant bait stations.

Fire Ants

Fire ants are aggressive, reddish-brown in color, which is common in the Midwestern United States. They are notorious for their painful stings, which can cause red, raised, and itchy welts. Fire ants are drawn to sweets and proteins, and they frequently scavenge for food in kitchens and pantries.

They are frequently found in outdoor areas like parks and lawns. As a result of their painful stings, their presence in your yard can pose a serious problem. To control fire ants, it is essential to store food and liquids properly and eliminate standing water from outdoor areas.

How to Treat Ant Infestation

If you have an ant problem in your home, there are a few measures you can take to eliminate them.

  • Eliminate food and moisture sources that attract ants.
  • Store food in airtight containers and wipe down surfaces frequently to remove food residue.
  • Repair any water leaks and eliminate sources of moisture, such as standing water or damp basements.
  • Block all points of entry into your home.
  • Seal cracks and gaps around doors, windows, and other openings to prevent ant entry.
  • Use ant baits and insecticide sprays to control the ant population in and around your home.

As you can see, the Midwest is home to a variety of ant species, and they are a common problem throughout the region; however, homeowners and renters can help keep them under control by following a few simple guidelines. To control these pests, it is essential to eliminate their food and water sources and maintain a clean indoor and outdoor environment. However, if you continue to struggle with an ant infestation, it may be time to call in the experts.

Van Den Berge Pest Control has been voted the best pest control company in West Michigan for eight consecutive years. Our team of specialists is committed to assisting homeowners and renters in eliminating ant infestations quickly and effectively. So, if you’re experiencing an infestation by common ants of the Midwest, give us a call at 616-392-7367 today.

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