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Where Do Ants Come From?

“Home is where the ants are,” is probably not something you want to begin saying every time you get home. Your home should be safe from the dangers of the outdoors, not a bed and breakfast for unwelcomed pests.

Ants tend to be some of the most common home-dwellers. The most common ant types you’ll likely see marching inside your home can be Carpenter Ants, Pavement Ants, Odorous House Ants, and Thief Ants. Learning a little bit about what attracts these ants to your home will help prevent them in the future.

Carpenter Ants, Camponotus pennsylvanicus, usually arrive after a flood or leak in your home, finding residence in the moist wood. Rather than cause damage by eating the wood, Carpenter Ants excavate it to create smooth-walled, hollowed-out galleries. It can be difficult to determine if you have a Carpenter Ant nest inside your home or walls. Try using Combat baits or gels to detect if you have an infestation. Utilizing these baits will help you detect the ant path and further eliminate them from your home.

Pavement Ants, Tetramorium caespitum, come in from under concrete slabs and porches. These ants have quite the sweet-tooth and are on a mission to conquer your pantry. If there is a strong food source for the ants, they will take up residence in walls and under floor boards, until they are completely satisfied. Once an invasion occurs, the first place of notice will probably be your pantry – where the ants can be found in sugar, cookies, and candies.

Thief Ants, Solenopsis molesta, also commonly called Grease Ants, enter your home in search of high-protein foods like meats, fats, and grease. Much smaller than the average ant, Thief Ants are often misidentified as Pharaoh Ants, having the ability to squeeze through tiny spaces that often go unnoticed. The trails of these ants will be seen on walls, baseboards and in cabinets where they frequently develop colonies.

Odorous House Ants, Tapinoma sessile, are most likely to invade your home during rainy weather. Odorous House Ants travel in trails, searching day and night for sweets, grease, and various meats. They usually reside behind the walls, and under the floor, emitting a rotten odor when their bodies are crushed. Because Odorous House Ants tend to nest inside homes, they can easily contaminate human food supplies. Although they do not sting or bite, they can become persistent pests, traveling indoors in very large numbers.

For more and information, visit our prevention tips page or view our “5 Ways to Outsmart Ants” video to keep ants from bugging you.