Ants can invade your yard and home. They are powerful (for their size), can be damaging to your home, can bite or spread diseases. In general ants are social insects and live in groups referred to as colony’s. Average colony’s are around 4,000 ants, typically w 1 or more queens. The ants body has 3 parts to their body, and can carry 20 times their body weight. The average life span of an ant is between 45-60 days. They enjoy our homes as yards as they like to nest in moist areas with access to sweets and meats.
There are several types of common ants in Kansas City, Missouri and surrounding areas: Acrobat, Carpenter, Field, Odorous, Pavement and Pharaoh ants. The most common ants to invade your home are the Carpenter, Odorous, Pavement, and Pharaoh ants.
A few of these ants not only bite, swarm, and cause damage to your home but can spread disease or cause contamination. The best way to keep them out of your house is to keep them out of your yard.
Acrobat ants really enjoy nesting in soft moist areas including soil, under logs/rocks, behind siding or near other exterior leaks. They will also take over a nest in already created areas from other insects. They usually enter your home through foundation cracks or gaps, such as around wiring or pipes. Once they are inside they tend to set up nests in insulation and woodwork. If a home has had termites or a Carpenter ant infestation, you are at higher risk for Acrobat ants. They tend to start their activity in early spring.
Carpenter ants tend to nest in soft/decaying wood, later expanding into sound wood. This includes fence posts, tree stumps and trees, and logs or firewood. Inside they can also burrow into insulation or wall voids as well. Carpenter ants are busiest during the spring all the way through the fall in Missouri.
Field ants are often confused with Carpenter ants, but they are very different. They like to nest in soil, so they are frequently found around or near structures but it is not often that they venture inside. They will however in their pursuit of sweets. They are also most active starting in the mid spring.
The Odorous House ant are the most common species to invade your home. They usually nest in areas with moisture (near your pipes or water heater, or near crevices around your sink). They can also be fairly active when temperatures drop down, where other ant species aren’t as active. These guys prefer sweet items in and around your home, but will also devour meats and cheeses or other high protein content foods.
Pavement ants are also common at invading your home usually the kitchens or patios. They tend to eat quite the variety of food and will establish trails to their colony from their food source. Outside they nest beneath rocks and concrete, but when they get into your home they are usually in the walls and floors.
Pharaoh Ants are tiny and nest in hidden well-protected areas. This will include walls, voids, behind baseboards or even in insulation. They like warm areas inside buildings. They are fairly partial to sweet foods, but will also eat other insects. These guys can spread disease and cause contamination, and are ones you don’t want getting in your home near your family.
Those are your common issues and information on what is most likely going to be invading your Missouri home and yard. You can always reach out to an expert if you want additional information on ants in general or a specific ant.