large black or dark bodied usually found in large pieces of wood but also will nest in cracks and crevices to gain access to sound wood. Unlike termites, they do not actually consume the wood but will nest inside of it. They can cause significant structural damage if left unchecked. They eat dead insects and also “honey dew” from aphids. They actually attend to aphids which is beneficial to both species.
Very common to the California Central Valley. Light to dark brown in color 1/12 to 1/8 inch long. Typical nesting spots are in moist soil near buildings or sidewalks, in cracks in concrete walls, even among belongings in human dwellings. They also nest beneath small stones or potted plants. Their poor ability to dig deep nests is overcome by taking over nests from other ant species. They are a very invasive species and have colonies in at least 15 countries, six continents and many oceanic islands. One of the qualities that helps this species survive is that each colony has multiple queens, so spraying pesticide such as raid or pouring boiling water on a nest actually makes the problem worse because the queens will separate and stimulate egg laying.
Small yellow or light brown almost transparent ant. It is a major indoor pest in buildings with central heating. It can be found in nearly every part of the world. They are a major nuisance and hazard in hospitals. They can be difficult to eliminate because their colonies contain multiple queens. They are able to consolidate into smaller colonies during extermination only to repopulate later. Nests are also very small and hard to find. In homes they are often found in bathrooms or near food. We do not recommend using sprays or dusts to exterminate because the ants will scatter and make more colonies to deal with later.
Very similar to and often confused for the Pharaoh ant. The smallest household ant being 1/25 to 1/15 inches long they vary in color from yellow to dirty brown usually live in the nests of other ants but come inside homes for food and can nest in crevices of walls or cabinets. They are so small they can often get inside sealed food packages. Known for nesting close to other ant nests so they can steal food, but can build a nest just about anywhere. Also known as grease ants because they are attracted to grease. They are not attracted to common ant traps or baits or most typical pesticides.
Also known as stink and and coconut ant. Ranges in color from brown to black and varies in length from 1/16″ to 1/8″. They usually appear in late winter and early spring. These ants are not very hard to control. When odorous house ants are crushed they emit a pungent odor. We recommend removing all standing water, and not storing firewood, rocks, and other materials next to your home.
Dark reddish brown colored and small, the crazy ant does not typically follow a straight line, rather they appear to dash around erratically. They are identified by their 12 segmented antennae. They are one of the most wide spread ant species in the world and a very dominant species. They will typically replace other ant species if there is competition. They do not sting, but they do bite and secrete formic acid onto the would. They live indoors in buildings and warehouses in undisturbed areas. They also like to feed on “honey dew” from aphids and other similar bugs.
RED IMPORTED FIRE ANT–
is brown to black and the head and part of the thorax are yellow or reddish they are 1/15 to ¼ inches long. Their nests are usually found in loose soil but can also be in wood work and masonry on homes. Fire ant colonies produce large mounds in open areas and near sidewalks. They have been known to attack small animals and can kill them. They are more aggressive than most ants and they bite their prey/enemy then inject an alkaloid venom. Some people are allergic to their stings and may require an emergency room visit.
VELVETY TREE ANT–
Often found in higher elevations in Southern California but can also be found in lower elevations with suitable habitat. They are found in Sagebrush, oaks, Ponderosa pines, Douglas firs. They are very aggressive and swarm on anything near their nest entrance if disturbed. They also emit a strong odor.
Desert ants that live in hot, dry conditions. This type of ant collects seeds or mushrooms and stores them in chambers. Since their habitat doesn’t typically have usual prey or honeydew from aphids they have adapted. They are known to increase seed dispersal and aerate desert soil.
Light brown to dark brownish-black with a distinctive heart shaped abdomen which is raised up when alarmed which gives it its other names, the Valentine ant or the cocktail ant. They can be found throughout the US. Colonies are small typically with a single queen but some are rather large with thousands of ants. They feed primarily on honeydew produced by aphids or other insects such as wasps. They are usually found in trees or in firewood, but sometimes can be found indoors or around electrical wires.