While a majority of ant species prefer sunny climates, any environment is perfect for ants to thrive. Out of around 15,000 species and subspecies worldwide, North America has close to 1,000 known species. Learn about the most familiar types of ants in the U.S., which includes:
Red imported fire ant (solenopsis invicta) - Can be found in Virginia and south through Florida; particularly destructive to vegetation and can build giant colonies of over 100,000 members; forms a ball to float through floodwaters
Southern fire ant (solenopsis xyloni) - Southern fire ants are active across the southern border of the U.S. from California to northern Florida; mounds can be found near trees; prey on other pests, but are still considered a threat to humans due to their capacity to sting and damage properties
Color: dark reddish brown
Life cycle and habits of the fire ant
After mating, the queen searches for a suitable spot to lay her eggs (up to 125) in late spring
Larvae hatch within 8 to 10 days, and the pupal stage lasts for 9 to 16 days
Larvae feed on secretions from the queen’s salivary glands and broken down wing muscles until the first worker ants emerge. After this first batch of larvae molt into workers the queen’s role returns to egg laying – she can lay up to 1500 per day. Worker ants continue with larval care, nest building and food foraging.
Fertile males are produced later in the season
Foraging workers diet consists of dead animals, including insects, earthworms, and vertebrates; also collect honeydew and forage for sweet food, proteins, and fats
Build large mound nests, often near landscaping or structural foundations
If aggravated, they react aggressively and can inflict a painful sting
Major agricultural and urban pest, destroying crops and invading residential areas
Very small, so it is easy for them to get inside through any hole in an exterior wall or cracks in siding or HVAC systems
Don’t require much soil to exist, but they do require a moisture source; fire ants can end up in places such as rooftops and wall voids
Ant control solutions are everywhere, but that doesn’t mean they’re effective. Each ant colony can hold up to half a million ants, and without the help of a professional, they can be tough to tackle. The best thing you can do on your own is to keep things clean. Garbage and food remains are very attractive to ants.
Ehrlich specialists have the expertise to understand the habits of each ant species and will provide your best defense against ant infestations. You can rest assured knowing that our highly qualified technicians will offer a tailored ant treatment plan that is safe for your family and pets.