Often considered the No. 1 nuisance pest, ants also pose significant health and property risk as they destroy wood and contaminate food items. And with more than 700 types of ant species in the United States, it's not surprising that ants can quickly become a source of disgust, frustration and concern for homeowners.
Some of the most common home invaders include:
- Odorous House Ants: These ants get their name from the unpleasant odor they give off when crushed, often described as smelling like a rotten coconut. They typically nest in wall voids and crevices and prefer sweet foods.
- Pharaoh Ants: Pharaoh ants prefer sweets, but also consume grease and even shoe polish. They live in extremely large colonies and keep warm near artificial heating sources like baseboard heaters and ovens.
- Carpenter Ants: This species hollows out nests in both dry and moist wood, though they prefer the latter. They can be particularly hard to remove since their nests can be more difficult to locate.
- Fire Ants: Fire ants can cause severe allergic reactions in addition to structural damage caused by chewing through the insulation around electrical wiring.