San Antonio: (830) 931-1292 | Waco: (254) 224-6744 | College Station: 979-431-3992

San Antonio: (830) 931-1292 Waco: (254) 224-6744 College Station: 979-431-3992

Common Ant Species

Common Ant Species

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Texas, with its diverse climate and geography, is home to a myriad of ant species. These tiny insects are paramount in the ecosystem, playing roles from aerating the soil to breaking down organic matter. However, they can also be a source of frustration when they invade homes or disrupt outdoor activities. Below we explore some of the most common ant species found across the Lone Star State.

Fire Ants (Solenopsis invicta)

One of the most notorious ant species in Texas is the Red Imported Fire Ant. They are easily recognizable by their aggressive behavior and painful sting. They build large mounds, often in open areas, and can pose a significant threat to both people and animals.

Carpenter Ants (Camponotus spp.)

Carpenter ants are large and typically black in color. They are known for establishing nests inside wood, which can include structures of homes, leading to property damage if left unchecked. Unlike termites, they do not eat the wood but excavate it to create their nests.

Crazy Ants (Nylanderia fulva)

Tawny crazy ants, often simply called crazy ants, have become increasingly common in Texas. They are named for their erratic walking style and have a fondness for electrical equipment, sometimes causing short circuits in their quest for warmth.

Pharaoh Ants (Monomorium pharaonis)

Pharaoh ants are small, typically yellow or light brown, and are infamous for being a major indoor nuisance. They are particularly troublesome in hospitals and nursing homes, where they are known to spread pathogens.

Acrobat Ants (Crematogaster spp.)

Acrobat ants get their name from their ability to raise their abdomen over their thorax and head. They are medium-sized and vary in color, but are often recognized by their heart-shaped abdomen. They nest outdoors but can forage indoors for food.

Argentine Ants (Linepithema humile)

Argentine ants are an invasive species that form super-colonies. They are small and dark brown to black. While Argentine ants don’t sting like fire ants, their large numbers and wide-reaching colonies make them a pest.

Odorous House Ants (Tapinoma sessile)

These ants are small and brown or black. They are named for the coconut-like smell they produce when crushed. They often enter homes during rainy seasons, searching for sweet substances to feed on.

Texas Leafcutter Ants (Atta texana)

The Texas leafcutter ant is particularly interesting due to its behavior of cutting leaves to cultivate fungus, which is their primary food source. They are larger than other ants and are a rusty red color. Their nests are noticeable by the large mounds and clear-cut foliage around their site.

Thief Ants (Solenopsis molesta)

Thief ants are very small and can be yellowish or brownish. They typically nest near other larger ant colonies and steal food and larvae from them, hence their name. They are also commonly found indoors.

Harvester Ants (Pogonomyrmex spp.)

Harvester ants are large ants that collect seeds, which they use to feed their colony. They have a painful sting and create nests characterized by a clear area of vegetation with a central entrance. They play an important ecological role in seed dispersal.

Understanding the different types of ants found in Texas is crucial for proper identification and management, especially concerning those species that are considered pests. If you are experiencing issues with ants, consider contacting a pest management professional who can offer an appropriate solution tailored to the specific ant species causing problems.