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Types of Ants found in New England

There are an estimated 20,000 plus different species of ants worldwide. And unfortunately, they thrive even in the varied climates in New England. While many are harmless, others create problems by nesting in residential areas, invading homes in search of food and some can cause structural damage to buildings. Certain types commonly will build nests in or near homes and become pests that send trails of worker ants throughout your home to take advantage of various food and moisture sources that are available in a household setting.

Carpenter Ants, Odorous House Ants and Pavement Ants are the most common ant species found in New England and the most likely to encounter in your home.  Carpenter ants are best known for their ability to chew tunnels into pieces of wood. They are usually black or red in color and grow up to a half-inch long. They prefer to build nests around bathtubs, dishwashers and sinks. Odorous house ants like carpenter ants, prefer habitats with ample moisture like around drains, pipes and toilets. They are smaller than carpenter ants (about 1/10 of an inch long and are not know to cause the excessive damage that may compromise the structural integrity of wood in your home. Pavement ants usually nest outside near driveways and walkways, but will gain access to your home through cracks and such that are in your foundation. They grow to be about 1/8 of an inch and are dark brown and black in color.

When considering treatment of these ant pests, understanding the type of ant is important especially when trying to use baits (not all ants will be attracted to bait traps). If using pesticides, a common issue is that the ants will just relocated after being disturbed by spraying. Ants may look similar to each other by the untrained eye, so managing them yourself may be challenging. Consider enlisting an ant control expert to help you address any infestation that you may have in your home.