The Most Common Ant House Pest Species That Are More Than Just A Nuisance

Not only do ants perform ecologically essential tasks like recycling plant waste and aerating soil, they can also be beneficial within the home due to their habit of preying on certain insect house pests, such as fly larvae and termites. Spotting ants indoors is certainly not uncommon, and studies have revealed that all residential homes contain an abundance of many insect and arachnid species at all times including ants. Of course, it is hard to ignore ants when spotting more than just a few indoors where they can become a nuisance fast. Ants are frequently ranked as the most frequent and persistent insect pests of homes and buildings in New York state, and the most commonly managed ant pest species in the state include black carpenter ants, odorous house ants, little black ants, and pavement ants.

Due to the prevalence of carpenter ant species in northeastern forested areas, many New York homeowners are familiar with the black carpenter pest that occasionally excavates nesting cavities within structural and decorative woods. In addition to the black carpenter ant, the red carpenter ant is another common house pest in the northeast, but they rarely inflict structural damage to homes. However, much like its relative the black carpenter ant, red carpenter ants often enter homes solely to seek out sweet-tasting and high protein foods. Also, most red carpenter ant infestation cases see workers establish one or more nests in hidden or even inaccessible areas like attics, wall voids and ceiling voids.

While carpenter ant pests are sometimes found infesting pantries and kitchen cupboards, they are not known for contaminating human foods with disease-causing microorganisms. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for two other ant house pests in New York state where they frequently establish infestations in homes and buildings that are extremely difficult to eliminate. These two ant pests are commonly known as Pharaoh ants and thief ants, and they are the only two ant pest species that public health authorities consider a disease threat.

These pests acquire disease pathogens by congregating on decaying animal corpses, and they often infest hospitals where they gravitate into open wounds where they could transmit bacteria into the bloodstream. Due to their very small size, workers of the Pharaoh and thief ant pest species frequently crawl into packaged foods where they mechanically spread food-borne pathogens. Pharaoh ants and thief ants are known to disperse throughout homes and buildings where they establish multiple indoor nests within hidden locations, and infestations cannot be eliminated without professional pest control intervention.

Have you ever found ants within stored food packages stored in your home?