Ants outnumber every other insect population on the planet, and are highly adaptable insects with an advanced sense of teamwork. Their shear numbers make ants the number one pest problem in the country. The most common ant species found in Southern California are Argentine ants, Odorous house ants, Fire ants, and Carpenter ants. Depending on the species, ants can be responsible for a wide range of damage ranging from making a meal of your food stuffs to the structural damage of your home or business.

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Argentine Ant Ordorous Ant Fire Ant Carpenter Ant

Argentine Ants

The Argentine ant is a severe pest in the southern United States and California. Workers are 1/12th to 1/8th inch long and are light to dark brown in color. Queens are much larger, being up to 1/6th to 1/4th inch long. Nests are typically located in moist soil next to or under buildings, alongside sidewalks, or beneath boards and plants, and they are usually near sources of both water and food. Argentine ants prefer sweet foods, principally sugars, syrup, fruit juices, secretions of plants, and honeydew. Foragers may enter buildings in large numbers, particularly when conditions outside the building become too wet or too dry. This ant is well adapted to urban and suburban environments and will persist where other species do not thrive.

Odorous House Ants

The Odorous House ant is a common household pest distributed nearly throughout the United States. It is a particularly common problem along the West Coast. Workers are 1/12th to 1/8th inch long and brownish black in color. This ant is frequently confused with the Argentine ant. This ant gives off a very characteristic, pungent, and unpleasant odor when crushed. Nests are located in a great variety of situations both indoors and outdoors. Odorous house ants tend to move indoors late in the year when honeydew, one of their primary foods, becomes less abundant.

Fire Ants

Fire ants get their name because their venom, injected by a stinger, causes intense irritation and may cause severe reactions and even death in especially sensitive people. Fire ants are very active and aggressive and may kill young wildlife or produce sores and nausea in humans. The southern fire ant is found in the southern states, from the Atlantic coast to California. The abdomen is brown to clack, and usually the head and part of the thorax are yellow or reddish. Workers are 1/15th to 1/4th inch long. Nests usually occur in loose soil, although they may also occur in the woodwork or masonry of houses. Nest entrances may be craters in the ground scattered over an area of from 2 to 4 square feet or under boards or stones, by a tuft of grass, in cracks in concrete, or underneath houses. Foragers collect a variety of foods, including meat, grease, butter, nuts, seeds and vegetables.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are wood destroying insects that range in size from 1/2 to 3/4 inch long. Carpenter ants do not eat wood like termites do. They excavate galleries in the wood for nesting. The longer a colony is present in a structure, the greater the damage could be. Small piles of wood shavings or sawdust can be a sign that an active nest is nearby.

Structural Termite and Pest Control professionals are licensed and experienced in effective treatment of carpenter and other ant infestations.

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