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Ant Identification

Ants

What are ants?

Ants are a diverse species of insect. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, display different behaviors, and consume many different kinds of food. Ants are social, living and working together in large colonies found in a wide range of environments. Ants can be identified by their three distinct body regions - their head, thorax, and abdomen. The reproductive members of an ant colony are winged.

The three most common species of ants in our area of Port Huron, located in Saint Clair County, Michigan are carpenter ants, pavement ants, and acrobat ants.

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

Pavement ants Pavement ants are dark brown or black in color. Their head, body, and thorax are covered in grooved parallel lines and their thorax has a small pair of spines extending from the back of it. Pavement ants nest in cracks and crevices found next to areas of pavement and cement. Their nesting habits are how they are most often identified.

Acrobat ants Acrobat ants get their name from their unique acrobatic movement - raising their heart-shaped abdomen over their heads when they are disturbed. Acrobat ants also emit a foul-smelling odor when disturbed. They are small in size and are black to yellowish-brown in color, though some are multi-colored.

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How can I prevent ants in the future?

In conjunction with professional home and commercial pest services, doing the following can help to prevent problems with ants:

  • Place door sweeps on all exterior doors.
  • Cut tree branches, shrubs, and bushes away from the exterior of your home.
  • Seal gaps or other openings in the foundation and exterior walls of your home.
  • Eliminate water sources and repair water leaks both inside and outside your home.
  • Put weather stripping around exterior windows and doors.
  • Replace or repair torn window or door screens.
  • Keep locking lids on all outdoor trash cans and compost piles.
  • Maintain garden areas, quickly picking up fruits and vegetables that have fallen to the ground.
  • Do not place woodpiles, trash cans, and compost bins right next to the exterior walls of your home.

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