Ants in Illinois: An FAQ

Do you have ants in your kitchen, bathroom, or any other home space? Before you buy a cart full of baits, take a look at what you need to know about ants in Illinois.

What Are the Most Common Ants in Illinois?

According to the University of Illinois, the small honey ant, carpenter ant, pavement ant, odorous house ant, pharaoh ant, and large yellow ant are common ants in Illinois. While these pests are all Illinois invaders, you’ll likely not find each one inside of your home. Instead, you need to learn more about the different types of ants to understand a potential pest problem.

Even though homeowners can identify ants on their own, a pest control professional should inspect the structure for nests and treat interior or exterior spaces. An exterminator has the knowledge, experience, and equipment necessary to effectively control ants inside and outside of your home.

Do All Ants Look Alike?

Ants all have similar appearances. But this doesn’t mean each type looks identical to the other. Notable appearance traits of the most common Illinois ant species include:

  • Pavement ants. According to the National Pest Management Association’s (NPMA) PestWorld website, pavement ants are about one-eighth of an inch long and a dark brown or black color.
  • Carpenter ants. Often confused with termites, these wood-nesting ants are reddish black and nearly 5/8-inch.
  • Odorous house ants. This type of ant is also dark brown or black. But the odorous house ant is sometimes as small as 1/16-inch.
  • Pharaoh ants. Pharaoh ants are 1/12-inch long and either yellow or reddish-brown in color, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
  • Large yellow ants. As the name implies, these ants are larger in size (one-quarter of an inch long) and yellowish in color.

Appearance alone isn’t always enough to distinguish one ant from another. A quick-moving ant won’t stop for you to measure it or inspect its color. Identification requires knowledge of the ant’s appearance and its common habits.

Do Different Ants Have Different Habits and Habitats?

Simply stated – yes. Different types of Illinois ants have different habitats and habits. Like appearance, these vary and include:

  • Pavement ants. It’s all in the name for this ant. Pavement ants build nests under paved spaces. These pests look for holes in concrete, crawl into the small area, and nest underneath.
  • Carpenter ants. Known for their love of wood, these ants don’t eat the natural substance (like termites do). Instead, carpenter ants nest in wooden spaces. These could include your home’s walls, your deck, or a tree stump in your yard.
  • Odorous house ants. Odorous ants nest in exposed soil, under floors, and in walls. You may notice a rotten, almost coconut-y smell if you crush one of these ants.
  • Pharaoh ants. These ants prefer to nest in warm, moist areas and may live under floors or in walls and ceilings. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, pharaoh ants can live in colonies with up to 100,000 members.
  • Large yellow ants. Large yellow ants prefer the outdoor environment and may nest under rocks, in tree stumps, in or under logs, or under concrete.

While most of these ants won’t cause significant damage to your home (with the possible exception of the carpenter ant), these pests are indoor nuisances. Most Illinois ant species can contaminate food sources. Even though they won’t nest in your kitchen, these ants will travel to the room to feed. This makes it important to eliminate the ants quickly.

Do you need help with an ant issue in Illinois? Get rid of these home pests efficiently the first time and keep them away with a professional extermination service. Contact A-Alert Exterminating Service Inc for more information.

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