All About Ants: Pest Control Calgary

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Helpful information on Ants in Calgary And How To Control Ants.

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Ants: Description

More than 100 species of ants are found in Canada. Some of these species are “structure-infesting”, having the ability to reside in and around your home. The most common species of structure-infesting ants in Canada are carpenter ant, odorous house ant, pavement ant, Argentine ant, pharaoh ant, acrobat ant, and thief ant.

Carpenter ants, pavement ants, and pharaoh ants are responsible for most problems in the home in Alberta. The species most associated with structural damage is the black carpenter ant, which is also the largest in size. When nesting indoors, pavement ants tend to be more of an annoyance than causing structural damage. Similarly, pharaoh a0nts are an indoor nuisance pest and are attracted by foods high in protein and sugar.

Types Of Ants In Calgary

Acrobat ants belong to the genus Crematogaster, are less than 5.5 mm in length, have heart-shaped abdomens, and emit an odor when disturbed. When found outside, acrobat ants establish colonies near moisture: under rocks and in rotting wood such as stumps or woodpiles. When infesting indoors, acrobat ants typically nest in moist areas like in foam insulation behind siding or where water leaks have damaged the structure. 

The scientific name for Argentine ants is Linepithema humile. They are about 2.5 mm (+/- 3 mm) in length, have smooth, hairless bodies and are light to dark brown. Argentine ants are found outdoors in soil, under wood and logs, and in the cavities at the base of trees and shrubs. While Argentine ants are omnivorous (can eat nearly anything), they seek out foods that are sweet.

Carpenter ants belong to the genus Camponotus, are between 3 and 13 mm in length, have a rounded thorax and prominent mandibles, and are brown, black, or red and black in color. Carpenter ants nest both indoors and outdoors in moist, rotting wood. Unlike termites that eat wood, carpenter ants remove wood, depositing the debris in small piles outside their nests. 

The scientific name for odorous house ants is Tapinoma sessile. They are between 2 and 3 mm in length and are dark gray or brown in color. Their name is derived from the rotten odor they emit if crushed. Outdoors, odorous house ants live in shallow nests established on beaches and in swamps and bogs. Indoors, they are attracted to warmth and moisture and will colonize within walls, around hot water pipes and heaters, and under sinks and bathtubs. Odorous house ants are highly opportunistic and are active year-round in Canada. 

The scientific name for pavement ants is Tetramorium immigrans. They are between 2.5 and 3 mm in length, have visible grooves on their head and thorax, have one pair of spines on their thorax, and are pale brown to black in color.Their names is derived from their tendency to establish nests under sidewalks, driveways, and building foundations. A common sign of pavement ant activity is a mound of displaced soil near a paved area. Pavement ants may establish nests

The scientific name for pharaoh ants is Monomorium pharaonis. Workers are 2 mm in length and yellow to light brown in color, while queens are 4 mm in length and reddish in color. Queen pharaoh ants, which are twice the size of workers, have enlarged abdomens that are somewhat darker in color compared to the rest of the body. Before mating, queen pharaoh ants have wings which they shed after mating. Pharaoh ants are sometimes overlooked due to their small size and inconspicuous color, allowing them to infest structures. They establish nests in areas with moisture, such as kitchens and bathrooms, and use plumbing pipes and electrical lines within walls to forage in other rooms.

The scientific name of thief ants is Solenopsis molesta. They are also known as “sugar ants” or “grease ants”. Workers are 1.5 mm in length (+/- 3 mm), while queens are 6 mm in length. They are yellow to light brown in color and have two nodes between the thorax and abdomen. Thief ants are commonly mistaken for pharaoh ants. An important distinguishing feature are the antennae that are comprised of 10 segments terminating in a 2-segmented club. Their name is derived from their habit of stealing resources and offspring from neighboring colonies. Thief ants forage long distances but are not attracted to sweets. They are resistant to conventional ant traps and to most insecticides. Colonies that establish within structures may be overlooked for a long period due to their small size and inconspicuous color. 

ANTS – Calgary – Frequently Asked Questions & Concerns

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