Ants in Pennsylvania: The 3 Most Common Ants to Look Out For

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ant on a leaf

Pennsylvania is known for a lot of things: the Liberty Bell, Hershey's chocolate, the steel industry, and its abundance of ants. In fact, there are more than 20 different types of ants that can be found in Pennsylvania. While most of them are relatively harmless, some can cause quite a bit of damage if they get into your home. In this blog post, we will discuss the three most common types of ants in Pennsylvania, and how to get rid of any ant infestation if they become a problem!

Most Common Ants in PA

Pennsylvania is home to many different types of ants, but only a select few actually raise an area of concern for homeowners. Most of these insects that enter your home won't cause any damage, but certain ants can damage your wood structures, cause health risks, and bring in other pests to your home. The different species of ants we will be honing in on are:

  • Pavement Ants
  • Carpenter Ants
  • Odorous House Ants

Pavement Ants

Pavement ants are the most common type of ant in Pennsylvania. They get their name from the tendency to nest near or under sidewalks and driveways. These insects are small, usually ranging from 0.25 to 0.50 inches long, and have a black head and thorax with a light-colored abdomen. They are attracted to moisture and warm temperatures, so the most common areas where an infestation will occur in your home are the kitchen or bathroom. Pavement ants have one thing in mind when entering an individual's home. That is looking for food sources. This species of ant is attracted to foods that contain sugar or protein. These would include:

  • Honey
  • Cheese
  • Bread 
  • Plant juices
  • Pet food
  • Garbage 
  • Other insects 

Pavement ants should not raise concern for danger, but once you notice a lot of ants in your home, take measures quickly as their colony can multiply very quickly.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants get their name because they build their nests inside of wood. This can be very problematic as the nest can weaken the structural integrity of whatever surface it's built on, including homes and other buildings. Carpenter ants are usually about 0.75 to an inch long, and black in color with a reddish hue around their mandibles. Unlike other species of ants that have one queen, carpenter ants have multiple queens in each colony. This can make eradicating an infestation more difficult. Carpenter ants are primarily attracted to moist wood, so one way to help prevent them from invading your home is to ensure that all of your wood surfaces are dry. You will notice this species in a couple of different areas including: 

  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Windows
  • Door Frames
  • Inside the walls of your home

Of the different pests on this list, the carpenter ant will be the most destructive to your home. It is vital for having a clear ant control plan to help stop an infestation before the structure of your home starts to suffer. 

Odorous House Ants: 

Known for its unpleasant odor, the odorous house ant is very common not just throughout Pennsylvania, but throughout the United States. They are small and brown, and they can be found both inside and outside of homes. Odorous house ants nest in the ground, but they will also build their nests in wall voids, cracks, and crevices around your home. One telltale sign that you have an odorous house ant infestation is their tendency to forage for food near sources of water. You may see them marching along with your countertops or crawling up the sides of your windows. Similar to the carpenter ant, there are multiple queens per colony with this species. You won't have to worry about structural damage with this species, but the annoyance of an infestation alone will be enough to look for pest control solutions. 

How to Stop an Ant Infestation

Depending on the ant, having an infestation could be a serious problem for your property. Once they find a spot where they can depend on food/water, they don't plan on leaving. Soon after, the colony has increased in the hundreds, or maybe thousands in just a couple of days. 3 DIY Measures you can take to stop an ant infestation include: 

  • Keeping your home clean
  • Eliminate moisture spots around your home
  • Setting up bait stations

If you have had no luck with these options, it may be time to look into a pest control company like D-Bug. D-Bug Pest Control has been servicing the local community for over 80 years now and has the accolades to be trusted. Their expert exterminators offer ant control services throughout Western, PA. Take your home back from these pesky insects and get in touch with the professionals!

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