Ant Identification & Prevention

What are ants?

Ants are a type of insect that live together in large social groups. Ants vary in color and size depending on their species. All ants have three distinctive body parts that include a head, thorax, and abdomen, and they have a pair of bent antennae. Only the reproductive members are winged and are usually the largest members of the colony.

an acrobat ant hanging in the grass in eudora kansas

Some of the most common species of ants living in Kansas City, Missouri are acrobat ants, carpenter ants, odorous house, and pavement ants.

Acrobat ants
Acrobat ants get their name from their unique ability to raise their heart-shaped abdomens over their heads when disturbed. One can also identify acrobat ants by the foul-smelling odor they emit when bothered. Acrobat ants are a small species and are black to yellowish, although some can be multi-colored.

Carpenter ants
Carpenter ants can potentially cause significant structural damage when nesting inside of homes and other buildings. Carpenter ants are one of the largest ants to invade homes. They are typically black, with some having reddish or yellowish markings.

Odorous house ants
Odorous house ants are dark brown to black and can be identified by their smell. These ants give off an unpleasant rotten coconut-like smell when they are crushed.

Pavement ants
Pavement ants are dark brown or black. Their head, body, and thorax have grooved parallel lines, and their thorax has a small pair of spines extending from the back of it. They are often seen traveling together in long lines on sidewalks and driveways.

Are ants dangerous?

Ants are typically described as nuisance, dangerous, or destructive. Nuisance ants are those species that pose no significant health risks to people and cause no harm to property. Odorous house ants, acrobat ants, and pavement ants are all example of nuisance ants. Dangerous ants are those that deliver painful bites or stings, or spread serious disease and bacteria to people. Destructive ants are species that pose no health threat to people, but cause harm to property. Carpenter ants are a type of destructive ant that has the potential to cause extensive and costly structural damage inside of any home that they decide to create their satellite nests within.

Why do I have an ant problem?

Ants live on properties that allow them to thrive by providing access to food, water, and shelter. Things like outdoor trashcans, gardens, compost piles, outdoor eating areas, woodpiles, rock piles, fallen trees, tree stumps, and piles of organic debris all can attract ants. Ants move inside of homes while out and about foraging for food sources. Common entrance points include cracks and crevices in the foundation and exterior walls, holes along the roofline, spaces around doors, windows, and air-conditioning units, and through torn screens. Ants also commonly move indoors if the weather outside becomes too severe - hot, dry, or wet.

Where will I find ants?

It is common to see ants on decks, porches, sidewalks, walkways, kitchens, pantries, and in basements. Depending on their exact species, ants will nest in a variety of indoor and outdoor locations. Inside of homes ants make their nests near food sources. They can be found underneath floors, behind walls, behind large appliances, inside of insulation, in crawlspaces, and near heating or plumbing systems.

Carpenter ants create their nests inside of structural wood, especially if it has been previously damaged by water. Outdoors ants can be found nesting in places such as beneath the soil, in woodpiles, under fallen trees or rocks, in tree stumps, or along fence lines. As their name suggests, pavement ants are often found nesting outside in the cracks and crevices found in or next to areas of pavement and cement.

How do I get rid of ants?

To eliminate ants from your home or property, partner with a professional pest control expert. At Augustine Exterminators we provide the advanced modern methods that will solve your unique pest problems and prevent future ones. Our trained and certified specialists offer homeowners effective and affordable ant control services. To learn more about the residential and commercial pest control services we provide throughout the Greater Kansas City area, call Augustine Exterminators today!

How can I prevent ants in the future?

Ants are a tricky insect to guard your home against. There are some steps you can take to make your Kansas City Metro property less attractive to these invasive pests.

  • Place a stone or crushed rock barrier between any mulch or grass and the foundation.

  • Make sure outdoor trashcans and compost bins have tight-fitting or locking lids.

  • Fix leaky indoor and outdoor faucets, fixtures, and pipes.

  • Repair any openings on the exterior of your home.

  • Regularly clean out and sanitize trashcans.

  • Keep outdoor eating/grill areas as clean as possible.

  • Cut back tree branches, bushes, and other landscaping from your home’s exterior.

  • Place garden areas and woodpiles a distance away from the outside walls of your home.

  • Inside, remove trash from your home, wash dirty dishes, wipe down surfaces, and vacuum your floors frequently.


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