Canada is home to many species of ants, including pavement and carpenter ants. Despite the variety of ant species that live and thrive in Canada, homeowners should be aware of three species that are more problematic. If you have carpenter ants, fire ants, or pharaoh ants on your property, call insect and carpenter ant pest control in Markham.
1. Carpenter Ants
Canada has two primary carpenter ant species: red carpenter ants and black carpenter ants. The red version has a reddish-brown upper body, with black becoming the dominant colour everywhere else. The black ant is solid black.
Carpenter ants are the largest ant species in Canada. A typical ant is between 6 and 25 mm, or roughly the size of sunflower seeds. Many people confuse ants for termites because they are similar in size, but that is where the similarities end. Carpenter ants have a narrower waist and curved antennae.
Carpenter ants do not eat wood, but they do seek out damp and decaying wood to build colonies. The damp wood makes it easier to tunnel through. As the insects create their tunnels, they push debris out of the entrance, leaving small sawdust piles. If you see these piles or witness flying ants around your home, you might have an infestation and want to call pest control services.
2. Fire Ants
Fire ants are primarily a problem in rural areas. That said, some urban areas might still see a colony pop up.
Fire ants are reddish-brown and roughly 2 to 5 mm long. They have a stinger and are incredibly aggressive. The ants will attack, bite, and sting anything they perceive as a threat to their colony, including people and pets. They inject venom, which can be harmful. Some people may have a life-threatening and severe reaction to fire ant venom, requiring immediate medical attention.
Fire ant hills differ from other ant species because they are more dome-shaped. They almost look like mounds of sand in a field. Residential pest control services warn homeowners to be careful in dry fields with plenty of sun because fire ants thrive in sunlight. If you suspect you have fire ants on your property, call pest control services immediately and be mindful of your children and pets.
3. Pharaoh Ants
Pharoah ants are a unique and tiny ant species, growing to a maximum of 2 mm. Scientists believe the ants are native to Africa, but through the centuries, the species made its way around the globe. That said, they can only survive and nest in warmer climates, which is why they are often found inside heated structures.
The species is lighter-coloured, with a yellowish-brown to red lower half and a brown or darker body. Unlike carpenter ants, pharaoh ants cannot fly. While the queens have wings before mating, they can’t fly either and lose their wings once they mate.
The small size of the insect means it can find its way into almost anything. In fact, some research facilities even have trouble keeping them out of sanitary labs. The problem with their ability to access nearly any sight is that they can transmit microbes they carry on their bodies, which may include streptococcus and salmonella.
Another unique attribute of pharaoh ants is their nesting behaviours. The ants can nest anywhere, from appliances to outlets to the space between sheets of paper. Because of the variety of nesting sites, pest control experts usually use bait to treat pharaoh ant infestations.
Do you have any of the above species of ants on your Markham property? If so, contact Truly Nolen Canada and schedule a property inspection ASAP.