What Types of Ants Are Most Common in Northern California

Ants are one of the most common pests in Northern California, and chances are, you’ve seen them from time to time scattering across your kitchen countertop or into a hidden corner of your pantry. It’s easy to assume that a few ants here and there are insignificant, but the damage these little guys can inflict is no joke!

Ants don’t just enter residential dwellings — they can also gain a stronghold in offices, warehouses, hospitals, and any other area where there is an abundance of food and water to sustain them. Ants also look out for other insects like aphids and whiteflies, which heightens the potential damage they can cause.

Let’s take a look at the most common types of ants you might see in Northern California, how to recognize them, and most importantly — what you can do about them.

Argentine Ants

Argentine ants are one of the single most prevalent and invaders in Northern California. They are smaller than the Pharaoh Ants we will discuss further down but have a very dominant, aggressive nature. Pharaoh Ants range from light to dark brown in appearance. You can’t use a bait trap or similar method to kill Argentine Ants, because the only way to eradicate the problem is by killing the queen ant.

It is not uncommon for colonies of Argentine Ants to have a ratio of 300 queens to 1,000 worker ants. They don’t set up a permanent home and move when they sense a threat. Argentine Ants are known to reside in urban areas because this offers them a steady water source. If you provoke Argentine Ants, they can bite humans.

Pavement Ants

As their name suggests, you will usually find Pavement Ants on street pavements. Pavement Ants use the pavement as a way to enter your home. Once you have a home infestation on your hands, you could find Pavement Ants on skirting boards and inside the walls. Pavement Ants are larger than Pharoah Ants and have a black or dark brown appearance.

Pavement Ants fiercely protect their territory and will fight fellow ants to safeguard and extend their area. You will usually see Pavement Ants during the nighttime when they emerge hunting for food.

Pharaoh Ants

Pharaoh Ants are tiny ants, with a yellow to light brown appearance. These ants originated in Africa and thrive in warmer temperatures. They aren’t threatening to humans due to their size, and it is relatively easy to spot an infestation of these tiny creatures.

With that said, identifying their nest can be a challenge. Pharaoh Ants can travel 115 feet or more from where their nest is. Common Pharoah Ant nesting spots include:

  • Drainpipes
  • Bookcases
  • Behind refrigerators
  • Electrical switchboards
  • Wall skirting boards

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ants are among the larger species you will find in Northern California. They can chew through as termites do, but instead of using the wood for food, they use it to enter your property and build their nests. Carpenter Ants are so aggressive that even battle termites to inflict damage to a structure.

Carpenter Ants can enter your home via firewood since rotting or damp wood is their ideal nesting place. Because Carpenter Ants are so large, they can bite humans. If you don’t deal with a Carpenter Ant problem swiftly, they can inflict severe damage to a building’s structural strength, potentially endangering the inhabitants inside.

Contact a Northern California Pest Control Company Today

We understand. It’s natural to want to fix something yourself instead of paying a professional. The trouble is, with pest control, this approach seldom gets the job done. The unnecessary stress, time, and money that you will have to spend down the line to remedy the situation if you delay pest treatment isn’t worth it.

Ants frequently swarm to build new colonies and find additional food sources. Depending on the type of species you’re dealing with, these creatures could not only spell disaster for your yard but put the longterm structural integrity of your home or commercial property at risk.

If you’ve identified the presence of ants in your home or yard, we can evaluate the situation to determine the severity of the infestation and enact a swift plan to eradicate your ant problem. Give AAI Pest Control a call today to stop your unwelcome ant friends in their tracks.

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