The Ants That Call Pittsburgh Home
Most Common Ants in Pittsburgh
Summer is the time when ants have come out of diapause (which is a state where they rest and stop developing during the cold winter months) and they get busy multiplying and growing their colonies. Their presence can be seen everywhere outside, from the little mounds of dirt in sidewalk cracks to masses of ants covering a food source. But the problem with ants in summertime comes when they decide to find their way into homes. The following is a list of the common ants we have here in Pittsburgh, the issues that come with them, and what you can do to get rid of them.
These ants are found throughout the city and are unique in the way they are able to lift their abdomen up over the rest of their body. Compared to other ants on this list, this type of ant doesn't usually create much of a problem. Although they can be found in decaying wood around a home, they typically do minimal damage. They are not a significant wood-destroying insect like carpenter ants or termites. And, acrobat ants are not usually found indoors, since they prefer to live outside.
The tunneling behavior of these wood-carving ants cost property owners in the United States hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Unlike acrobat ants, carpenter ants love to get inside homes. But they are not seen in large numbers in living spaces. If you see one or two large black ants wandering around your kitchen, these are likely carpenter ant scouts, out looking for food sources. But they can get all their food outside, and they prefer to stay hidden inside walls. One or two of these ants in your kitchen could be an indication of thousands, just out of sight, inside your walls.
These ants get their name because of the strong lemony odor they emit when squished or threatened and, perhaps, because of their yellow coloring. Citronella ants are mostly just a nuisance to have around but they can be quite disturbing when they invade in large numbers. No one likes opening a cabinet door to find a food source completely covered in a mass of ants. Also citronella ants, like many other ants, can transfer harmful bacteria to foods and food preparation surfaces. This can lead to household members developing flu-like symptoms.
These tiny ants are fast-moving creatures that move in an erratic pattern (which is how they get the word "crazy" in their name). Commonly found in yards, these ants have no problem invading homes when they find a way inside. Not only can they quickly become a nuisance/disturbance when they invade in large numbers, but they can also be an issue when they get into electronics and car engines.
Odorous House Ants
These ants get their name because, when they are crushed (or sometimes only threatened) they give off an unpleasant odor that some describe as a rotten coconut smell. These ants are mostly just a nuisance but they also have the capability to contaminate foods with harmful bacteria.
These ants prefer to live in the cracks of pavement or similar locations. Sometimes they are mistaken for carpenter ants since both types of these ants are black. But pavement ants are much smaller than carpenter ants and they do not damage the wood of a home in any way. Pavement ants are mostly just a nuisance pest but they can invade in large numbers and possibly contaminate food sources.
What to do When Your Pittsburgh Home Has Been Invaded By Ants
While some ants are a mere nuisance, others can be damaging to homes and belongings, or simply be unpleasant to have around. The best way to guard your home and health against all of the many pest ants we have in Pittsburg is to reach out to Witt Pest Management. The pros at Witt, understand the habits and habitats of all of the ants that invade our Pittsburg homes in the summertime. Go here to learn about our residential pest control programs and get your protection in place.