Texas is home to several species of ants that can be troublesome for homeowners. Taking measures to prevent ants from getting inside your home and knowing what to look for when you’re enjoying the outdoors will help protect you, but once you have an infestation, it’s important to know what kind of ants you have before you treat them. Without proper identification, the measures you take may make matters worse. Unfortunately, some ants are relatively small and can look quite similar, making them harder to identify.
Fire Ants in Texas
Fire ants were most likely named for their reddish color and painful sting. Though now plentiful throughout the southern United States, these ants are not a native species. It’s believed that they made their first appearance in Alabama in the 1930s by hitching a ride on a cargo ship, most likely originating in Brazil. Now spread across the South from Florida to California, the red imported fire ant population has exploded. Texas provides the perfect habitat for fire ants with its warm weather as they like to form their nests in sunny, grassy areas.
Disturbing a fire ant nest can lead to an aggressive attack by multiple members of the colony. A picnic in the yard can turn painful if you place your blanket on or near one of their nests. Fire ants create visible mounds, sometimes in a cluster. Be sure to examine the area before sitting down to avoid the painful welts that result from their bites. This doesn’t guarantee you won’t get stung, however, as the mounds can sometimes be challenging to see when grounds are well-tended.
Fire ant colonies form large underground tunnels and will travel a good distance from the entry mound in search of food, so you could come across one just about anywhere you stand, sit, or walk. If you find yourself getting stung regularly or notice multiple mounds on your property, it’s a good idea to call in the experts to treat for them. 855Bugs can help protect you, your family, and your pets from these painful pests.
Little Black Ants in Texas
The name aptly describes these ants, which generally prefer to live outdoors in shady or wooded areas. They take up residence in rotting logs, under rocks, in yards, or under piles of bricks or lumber. They will also move inside buildings during drought conditions or in places where food or garbage is not properly secured.
Once inside, little black ants will nest in walls, hiding behind woodworks or facades, particularly if there is any decay. You might not even know they are there, until one morning when you are surprised to find them marching in line toward food left out overnight. Follow the trail to find out where they gained entry.
You can prevent them from entering by making sure all windows and doors are properly sealed, but once inside your walls, it’s best to get some help on determining just how big the nest may be. Little black ant colonies often have more than one queen, making them a bit tricky to eradicate without professional help.
Carpenter Ants in Texas
Carpenter ants can be found living both indoors and outdoors around Texas. Outside, these ants are often found living in old tree stumps, piles of decaying wood, or dead or dying trees. They prefer moisture and will not hesitate to make your home their own, tunneling and gaining access anyway they can. Making sure your windows, doors, and pipes are sealed might help, but carpenter ants will make their own entry point if there is decaying or dry-rotting wood on your home.
Carpenter ants are often confused with subterranean termites, as both nest and tunnel through wood. Other similarities include winged swarmers, as well as non-winged workers. Carpenter ants will leave behind piles of frass and sawdust-like piles of wood shavings. A major difference between the two is that termites actually feast on the wood in your home and do not leave frass behind.
While termites can cause damage to a home more quickly, carpenter ants do have the potential to cause severe structural damage. Left unchecked, a colony will grow and spread throughout your walls, joists, and even tunnel inside wood furniture. If you suspect you have carpenter ants, schedule a free inspection with 855Bugs to stop them in their tracks before it gets any worse.
How do you get rid of ants?
When it comes to ants, you’re outnumbered. It’s never just one ant as ants live in colonies that can number into the hundreds of thousands. We’ve mentioned just a few types of ants you may find in and around your home, but there are other ants that can also be challenging to get rid of and cause damage. Some of these include thief ants (grease ants), crazy ants, and pharaoh ants. No matter what kind of ant it is, the best defense is a good offense. 855Bugs can help point out areas where ants may gain entry. Of course, if you have already found them active inside or outside of your home, be sure to schedule a free inspection right away. We have the knowledge and skills to help!