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Category: How To Get Rid Of Ants Naturally | 12.01.2015
Additional useful body characters of ants to include a characteristic smell when crushed, the or absence of a sting, and presence or absence of spines on the head and thorax. Carpenter ants are generally large, and may be solid black, brown, or a combination of black and orange. These medium-sized ants are frequently confused with carpenter ants because of similar coloration and nesting habits. Odorous house ant is a common ant that makes its nests outdoors under mulch, stones, and inside and under other objects.
For more information about other indoor ants, see Extension Leaflet B-6183.  For a more complete guide to the common ant genera of Texas, check out the Ant genera identification guide (for professionals) (B-6138-for sale).
Since you’re not sure what kind of ants you have, I would start by looking to see whether you can tell where the ants are entering the room. The ants we have seem like carpenter ants because they are nocturnal and they are only on our wall and ceiling corners. The presence of pedicels between abdomen and gaster is what distinguishes ants from similar insects like wasps. Besides length, an important feature that can help distinguish different ant species is whether the worker ants in a colony are all equal in size (monomorphic) or variable in size (polymorphic). These are tiny ants, similar in size to the Pharaoh ant, but stocky and darker brown in color.

Leaf cutter ants live outdoors in the soil.  The mounds constructed by the ants are crater-shaped and usually clustered together in a “town”. All ants start out as eggs and larvae, but these are not something you normally see, and the immature stages look nothing like an ant. Nevertheless, it is possible to identify some of the most common species of household ants without a microscope. Most ants also have antennae with a long first segment that creates a bend, or “elbow” in the middle of the antennae. Because some wasps resemble ants, the presence of these pedicels can distinguish ants from wasps.
In addition, fire ants make conspicuous mounds with no visible entrance holes on the mound itself. Carpenter ants are mostly nocturnal, coming out at night to follow trails along fences, tree limbs, water hoses or other linear objects.
Acrobat ants have two pedicels, workers are all the same size, and they have two spines on the thorax. Although worker ants, the most abundant members of the ant colony, are wingless, the reproductive caste in the ant colony may have wings.
Wasps may have narrow, even elongated, waists but they lack the distinct nodes characteristic of ants.

One of the most characteristic behaviors of the fire ant, however, is its aggressive response to nest disturbance including a vigorous and painful sting.  Fire ants almost always nest outdoors, although they will enter buildings in search of food and water, especially in late summer. They are attracted to sweets.  Odorous house ants most commonly nest outdoors, but will also nest in bricks and wall voids and other interior locations.
They are frequently seen along sidewalk and house edges, on the trunks of trees and in a variety of outdoor locations. One or more times a year, these reproductive ants may fly from the nest (swarming) as part of the mating process. Some ants nest in trees, either making their own cavities or (more commonly) taking advantage of existing cavities from rot or termite activity.
When disturbed, acrobat ants lift their distinctive, heart-shaped gasters into the air as a defensive posture, much like an acrobat might balance on her hands.  Acrobat ants most commonly nest in trees, but will also make their homes in the walls and insulation of structures. Termites, also social insects, also swarm periodically in structures; however, the distinct waist and elbowed antennae are reliable characters for distinguishing ants from termites. Such ants, like carpenter and acrobat ants, may occasionally use your home as a substitute for a nest in a tree or other plant.

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