Other Bothersome Ants In the Pacific Northwest

In the Northwest, in addition to carpenter ants and sugar ants (our two biggest ant concerns), there are the Western thatching ants, moisture ants, odorous ants, and pavement ants.

Western thatching ants make a thatch or mound of plant material, often grass but they rarely nest in homes. Reproductive swarms amass in late summer to early fall. Various species are available throughout the Pacific Northwest. The main concern is that thatching ants can bite very hard and they usually spray the bite area with formic acid to produce a painful sensation. These ants are generally only incidental pests though and for the most part, are not common in city or suburban areas.

Moisture ant colonies live in rotten logs, stumps, or soil. However, there are times that these ants will find areas of wet rotting wood in our homes and will move in to create a colony inside of houses. These are not as structurally destructive, they do increase the amount of moisture around there colonies which can lead to larger areas of rotting wood. The remedy is to remove the damaged, wet wood and replace it with dry new materials.

The odorous house ant possesses anal glands that produce a rotten, coconut-like odor when disturbed. These ant colonies nest in a wide variety of habitats such as forests, beaches along rivers and lakes, under the bark of stumps and logs, and unfortunately houses. When alarmed, workers dash about with abdomens raised creating a distinct odor in your home. They tend to feed on a wide variety of household foods, such as raw and cooked meats, dairy products, and vegetables; however, they prefer sweets. These ants exist throughout the Pacific Northwest and are typically harmless and primarily an annoyance factor due to their smell.

Pavement ant colonies, which have many queens, nest in exposed soil, under stones or pavement and swarming occurs mostly in mid-summer. These ants forage on seeds, honeydew, sap, dead and live insects, and a variety of household foods. They commonly excavate soil from around pavement and stones or from under concrete slabs. They can sting, especially if trapped in clothing. Pavement ants are nuisance pests and cause unsightly piles of sand on driveways, patios, sidewalks, or in basements. They also forage on food items in structures. Skin reactions to the stings may occur. These ants are also intermediate hosts to poultry tapeworms.

Tiny Sugar Ants All Over Your House?

Sugar Ant Treatments

These little ants are small in size but not in consequences. They get their names by collecting sugary nectar, plant secretions, honeydew sap, crumbs and sweets around your own home! These ants go after spilled liquids, fruit and candy if they are not in packages, so if you spot any sugar ants you need to check your kitchen cupboards and food storage areas. Sugar ants are commonly found in suburban areas, woodlands, and forests. It is important to find and exterminate these colonies quickly because they can live up to 29 years and grow to over 100,000 ants which can ultimately destroy your inner walls and the structure of your house. Sugar ants are insects that do not sting but they may bite if threatened but rarely cause allergic reactions or pain if a bite occurs.

Sugar ants can be one of the more difficult pests to get rid of. These ants often use the electrical systems and furnace areas of the home because they seek a consistent heat source. These ants have been know to cause shorts in electrical outlets. They also are attracted to any areas with moisture and humidity.

These ants can often go unnoticed for a while but when they appear they can be quite persistent. If you see them in your home call right away because they can be a definite problem here in the Northwest. With the right game plan, we can exterminate them and get them out of your house. Keep, your eyes open for these relentless tiny pests.