The two most commonly encountered ants in Florida are Florida Fire Ants and Florida Carpenter Ants
Behavior of Florida Ants
Florida ants are social insects with a hierarchy that consists of two castes: the workers and the reproductives. Worker ants are sterile females. They construct, repair, and defend their nests' while feeding other members of the colony.
Male and female reproductives often swarm to establish new colonies. After mating occurs, the male soon dies, while the female cares for the young. In most colonies, the primary function of the queen is reproduction. The queen may live for many years, as the colony may have multiple queens at once.
Appearance of Florida Ants
Florida ants have elbowed antennae and narrow waists, with one or two nodes between the thorax and abdomen. They vary greatly in appearance and size, even within the same species. Winged reproductives have four wings with the first pair being much larger in size than the hind pair. The male and female are both winged, however the female loses her wings after mating.
Florida Fire Ant
Florida Ant Alate (Swarmer)
Florida Ant Workers and Larvae
Where Florida Ants are Found
Outdoors, the nests of Florida ants can be identified by their characteristic mounds. Nests may also be constructed next to or under house foundations, sidewalks, patios, or in decaying tree trunks.
Indoors, Florida ants may nest in walls and behind baseboards. Often, ant trails enter through a crack but the nest may be some distance away. Some Florida ants may also nest in decayed or rotting wood in your home.
Tips for Preventing Florida Ants
Since Florida ants can gain access to a home through small cracks and crevasses, the key to controlling these pests is cleanliness. Any food or flavored liquid can attract and sustain Florida ants. Store food in tight containers. Remove plants that can attract ants and other insects that produce honeydew. Reduce moisture sources, including condensation and leaks.
Florida Fire Ants
First, one must identify the species of ant involved in order to apply the prescribed treatment. These can include bait stations or basic insecticides. However, many times these treatments are misused and prove inadequate.
The most effective way to combat Florida ants is with an inspection by Suncoast Pest Control. If you suspect that your home or property has been invaded, call Suncoast immediately and we will quickly rid your home of Florida ants.
Schedule an inspection from Suncoast Pest Control and we will keep your home & business free of Florida ants!
Call us immediately before it is too late! 1-800-270-3086