Ants are among the most common insects you’ll see in anyone’s house. However, they can be considered as a nuisance when they start causing little damage here and there. Most of the time, you’ll see them out in the open in search of food. With more food sources, it is more likely for them to build a colony and eventually create an uncontrollable infestation.
These tiny insects may come in red, black, brown, or yellow colours. The size of adults may range from 1/16 to 1/32 inch such as thief ants and little black ants to as large as ½ inch similar to carpenter ants.
Though ant species in Canada are not the aggressive ones, some of the species sting. Letting them roam around and build a colony can eventually damage your garden. However, ants can also be considered beneficial as they eat other types of insects like moths and young silverfish.
Roles in Colonies
Males and females have different roles in colonies. New queens and males can be found in colonies when they are reproducing. Males are the ones with wings and fly to mate. However, they don’t live long. Once mating is done, new ant queens would break off their wings. This prevents them from flying again and makes them look like the worker ants, which are usually females.
Should You Be Concerned?
Some of the known species of ants that invade homes in Canada are little black ants, carpenter ants, pharaoh ants, odorous ants and thief ants. Pavement ants, on the other hand, are more of a nuisance in pathways, lawns and gardens and indoors.
Canadian homeowners are already having problems with the wide range of pests invading their homes and ants can introduce unique challenges to homeowners who disregard their presence. A person may have seen lots of ants in their life but as harmless as they seem, ants can cause an endless war with homeowners when left untreated.
Ant Species You’ll Find in Canada
They may have names like royalty, but some ant species also sting painfully and love raiding pantries and cupboards for human food. Other species of ants would build ant colonies near your home simply because they can easily access a food source in there.
If you’re curious about the types of ants that can invade your home, check out the ant species that are found in Canada below:
These species are one of the top common ants you’ll find in your home. The name may sound like they are productive ants, but they lack skills in building. In fact, they should be considered as demolisher ants simply because they love tunnelling through woods just like termites. They can grow to a size of about 1.3 cm long and are predominantly in black colour. Others have brown bodies.
Though they aren’t interested in humans, they have a sweet tooth so you might want to seal sugary foods properly. These ants don’t eat wood while burrowing, but they can cause extreme structure damage in the long run. Thus, pest control efforts are needed when you see an infestation of these ants getting worse.
These ants are smaller than the average ants you find. They are about 2 to 4 mm long and usually have black with brown legs. They look taller than other ants. As the name itself says, these ants are found in pavement cracks or another outdoor masonry. These species have sweet tooth, so they’ll most likely invade your kitchen and ruin opened packages and boxes inside your cupboard or pantry. On the other hand, you won’t have to worry about chewed wires or stings.
The name of these ants may seem intimidating, but experts say that they far from royalty. They have painful stings and raid pantries and cupboards for any scrumptious human food.
These species are almost as big as common field ants, but their colours vary. This characteristic makes it difficult for them to be spotted and identified. Most of them are less than 2 mm in length and have golden colours.
Common Field Ants
Common field ants can be found almost anywhere because of their big population. As estimated by biologists, they can be around 10 quadrillions or almost 1.5 million times more than the human total population on Earth.
These ants are pretty difficult to spot from afar as they are only 2.5 to 6.25 mm in size. Though their colour varies, you can find them mostly in black.
Acrobatic ants can actually get their abdomens raised over their heads. This is their acrobatic way of raising their abdomens whenever they are disturbed. These species have heart-shaped abdomens when viewed from above and are shorter than 6 mm. You can identify them easily with their dark brown colour.
Citronella ants are oftentimes confused with termites as they look similar to these pests and have the same behaviour, which is to destroy wood. These ants release a lemon-scented smell whenever they’re disturbed. Their size ranges from 4 mm to 8 mm, depending on the ant’s role. Queens are usually the largest and its colour is translucent golden brown.
Though they don’t usually create huge structural damage, they can be a nuisance as soon as moisture accumulates inside your home and an infestation occurs as they build nests.
Odorous House Ants
These ants feed on both living and dead insects. These foraging ants will usually invade homes for sweets and wander in set trails and patterns. Their size is about 1/8 inch long and would become erratic and raise their abdomens when disturbed. They can build nests in wall voids, wooded areas and around heaters and water pipes.
Mound ants are often called mound ants. They got their name simply because they build mounds from grass stems, small sticks, leaves and fir or pine needles. They may also live in decayed logs.
These ant species are not usually considered as a pest problem in Canadian homes, as they are beneficial in eating other insects. However, they usually live in areas near human habitation that makes them a nuisance. In addition, these are harmful to plants near their nests or those seedling trees.
The presence of their mounds visually alters any landscape. Their sting is painful and may result in blistering when left unwashed.