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COMMON SPECIES OF ANTS
Long Island, NY

In the Northeast U.S., and specifically to Long Island, comes the nuisance of various types of ants in and around our homes.  Most Common to Long Island are Carpenter Ants, Pavement Ants, Odorous Ants and Thief Ants.  Extensive structural damage can be caused by Carpenter Ants.  
Carpenter Ants: 

  • Excavate wood for the purpose of building nests.
  • Fairly large ants ranging in size from .25" to .75".
  • Body shape is segmented and oval (black and/or red body).
  • Most common in the Northern United States.
  • Initially attack moist, decaying wood and ultimately may begin building paths and nests in dry undamaged wood.
  • Damage within structures may be present once Carpenter Ants have invaded the space.
  • The Carpenter Ant does not consume wood like Termites, they build nests inside of wood consisting of channels chewed through with tough mandibles.
  • Carpenter Ants typically like to build nests in areas close to a water source in damp wood.

Pavement Ants:

  • Common household ant.  Usually make their colonies or nests underneath  or around pavement.
  • Identifiable by a pair of spines on the back and grooves on the head/thorax.
  • Aggressive in nature and build Ant Hills during summer months to vent colonies.
  • May see colonies of ants invading other ant colonies with massive numbers above surface during spring/summer.

Odorous House Ants:

  • Ranges in color from brown to black.
  • Colony consists of multiple nests and contain multiple reproducing queens.
  • These ants seek floral nector, sugary foods and sources.  They range from 1/16 to 1/8 inches long with antennae containing 12 segments.
  • The odorous ant have proven to be very resilient, tolerant to large ranges in temperature and injury.  
  • Difficult to eradicate from the home, the ants leave an odor leading to the alternative name, "stink ant".
  • The incubation period for queens laying eggs is between 11 and 26 days.
  • The species is a scavenger ant eating most household foods containing sweetss and sugar.  Colonization is typically near insulated spaces.

Citronella Ants:

  • Citronella ants get their name from the citronella like odor they emit when compromised.  
  • These ants are subterranean insects (underground) that typically feed on honeydew, aphids and mealybugs foraging on the roots of certain shrubs.
  • Often confused with termites during swarm periods, they are common throughout the U.S.  They come in both winged variety (swarmers) and vary in color from light brown to yellowish.
  • More of a nuisance when swarmers enter the home through cracks, crevices and joints, they will not attach or consume the structure and will not reproduce within the home.  Colonies are typically found below mounds of soil.