Several species of ants are found in or around houses in Florida. In general these several species can be grouped into three categories: these being; house infesting, house destroying and yard infesting. These pests can contaminate foods, destroy homes, and some species can inflict painful stings, causing severe allergic reactions in some people.
HOUSE INFESTING ANTS: The most common species of this group found in the home will be: Pharaoh, Ghost, Crazy and Argentine. These ants prefer sugars, proteins and insects. In addition to these the Pharaoh ant likes oils and is attracted to fragrances. Of this group the Pharaoh Ant is probably the most difficult to control. This is a very small ant commonly called (Sugar ant). They usually infest food areas first then spread throughout the home. It is not unusual for them to infest clothing, areas where cosmetics are kept or used, bathrooms or baby nurseries. Spraying Pesticides inside the home for control of these ants can cause “Budding” which means colony splitting and multiplying the ant problem.
HOUSE DESTROYING ANTS: The carpenter ant is usually attracted to wet or decaying wood. They can enter your home because of this but, do not stop there. These large ants do not eat wood but, do a tremendous amount of damage to building caverns and reproduction chambers in timbers and boards. Only Termites cause more wood structure damage in the United States than Carpenter ants do.
YARD INFESTING ANTS: There are several species of ants which inhabit the yard and other outdoor areas. The only two that we should be concerned with are Fire ants, consisting of the native fire ant and the Red imported fire ant. The imported fire ant is very aggressive; the sting can cause severe allergic reactions in some people. Each sting is very painful and causes a pustule which can become infected. The Imported fire ant is very dangerous when around small children, the elderly and small animals; due to the fact a colony may have up to 200,000 ants. Fire ants will enter dwellings foraging for food and have been found with colonies in walls. Fire ant populations should not be ignored. The Native Fire Ant can also be a nuisance; will inflict painful stings, but usually without the complications of the Imported Fire Ant.