The United States is home to over a thousand variety of ants. Here are some of the ants that are most common in our region of North Carolina and South Carolina:
Odorous House Ant (Tapinoma sessile) – This small black ant often misidentified as an Argentine Ant but easily distinguished by the faint chemical smell that is release when it is smashed. These ants are notoriously tough to deal with, especially in winter. The ants main food source is honeydew created by aphids on plants and trees such as the Crepe Myrtle. If no honeydew is present these ants will forage to find a source of sweet food.
Argentine Ant (Linepithema humile) – As suggested by the name, the Argentine Ant is an invasive species. These ants are great at communication. Ants from different colonies can co-mingle without fighting. With adaptations like communication, Argentine Ants have been known to wipe out native productive ants thus altering the local ecosystem.
Acrobat Ant (Crematogaster) – The name for this species of ant derives from the ability of this ant to curl its abdomen over its thorax in an acrobatic way. The abdomen of the Acrobat Ant is heart shape. These two distinct characteristics make the Acrobat Ant easy to identify.
Pavement Ant (Tetramorium caespitum) – Pavement ants are native to Europe and are now found in many of the eastern and southern regions on the United States. True to their name, they prefer to make their homes under and along pavements and around the structure of homes. They are dark brown with light-colored legs, and the queen ant and all male workers have wings.