Homeowners can encounter many ant types, but identifying them can be tricky. Knowing what types of ants are around your home is important because different ant species have different behaviors, nesting habits, and potential threats. Terminix’s trained technicians know how to identify the ants you’re seeing and can provide customized ant control solutions to help remove the ants from your property.

Acrobat ant

  • Appearance: Acrobat ants range in color from light red to brown or black. Their size varies from ⅛ of an inch to ¼ of an inch in length. One identifying factor is their heart-shaped abdomen.
  • Lifecycle: Ant lifespans vary amongst ant types, but on average, a worker acrobat ant can live for several months to a few years, while queens can live for several years
  • Habitat: Acrobat ants prefer to live in moist or decaying wood. They can typically be found in tree holes, dead limbs, stumps, and logs. These types of ants also nest in rotting areas of fences, decks, and railings. While outdoor nests are common, they’ll also nest inside if moisture or decay exists indoors.
 acrobat ants on wood

Argentine ant

  • Appearance: Argentine ants typically have a shiny appearance and vary in color from dark brown to black. They’re about ⅛ of an inch in length.
  • Lifecycle: Like many other ant species, their lifespan depends on various factors. Worker Argentine ants tend to live for a few months to a year, while queens can live for several years.
  • Habitat: These kinds of ants typically nest outdoors in shallow soil beneath stones or debris, while subcolonies can be found in various locations such as lumber piles, landscape mulch, and wall voids. They are prevalent invaders of homes in Southern California and are commonly found in homes across most Gulf Coast states.
argentine ants tmx 

Army ant

  • Appearance: Army ants range in color from reddish-brown to dark brown or black. They have relatively large heads, which often bear conspicuous mandibles for capturing prey and defending their colony. These types of ants are generally small, measuring around 0.1” to 0.6” in length.
  • Lifecycle: An army ant queen and her colony can survive for an incredibly long time, up to twenty years, with the right conditions. Workers survive for around a year; males die after mating with the queen.
  • Habitat: This ant species inhabits tropical and subtropical regions globally, including Central and South America, Africa, and parts of Asia. They nest in trees or create temporary nests called bivouacs, forming protective walls using claws and mandibles around their queen and larvae. These nests are temporary and are dismantled when the ants relocate.
army ant tmx 

Carpenter ant

  • Appearance: Carpenter ants are typically large, ranging from ¼” to ½ “long. These ants have a dark-colored body, usually black or reddish-brown, and a segmented waist.
  • Lifecycle: Worker carpenter ants can live for several months to a few years, while queens can live for several years, with some living up to a decade or more.
  • Habitat: Carpenter ants primarily inhabit wooded areas but are common in urban and suburban environments. These kinds of ants nest in moist or decaying wood, such as tree stumps, logs, or wooden structures like decks and fences. This ant species is found throughout North America, particularly in temperate regions, but they can also be found in other parts of the world.
carpenter-ant-identification 

Citronella ant

  • Appearance: Citronella ants are typically small, measuring around 0.12” to ¼” long. They have a distinctive yellow to yellowish-brown coloration.
  • Lifecycle: Worker citronella ants can live for several weeks to a few months, while queens can live for several years.
  • Habitat: Citronella ants are commonly found in North America, particularly in the eastern and central regions. This ant species typically nests outdoors in soil, especially in areas with high moisture levels, such as under stones, logs, or debris.
citronella ant 

Fire ant

  • Appearance: Fire ants generally measure around ⅛” to ¼” in length. These types of ants have a reddish-brown to black coloration with a darker abdomen. Fire ants are known for their aggressive behavior and painful stings.
  • Lifecycle: Worker fire ants typically live four to six weeks, and queens can live between two and six years.
  • Habitat: Fire ants are commonly found in warm climates, particularly in the southeastern United States, including Texas, Florida, and Georgia. This ant species lives in various habitats, including lawns, fields, and areas with mounds of loose soil.
fire ant outdoors 

Little black ant

  • Appearance: Little black ants are about ⅛ of an inch long.
  • Lifecycle: Male ants die after mating with the females and live for only a few days. Workers tend to live for a few weeks to several months, and queens can live for multiple years.
  • Habitat: Little black ants are commonly found around homes, following defined trails between nests and food sources. Infestations indoors occur as they forage for food, occasionally establishing colonies inside walls or beneath carpets. This ant type also thrives in moist environments.
little black ants eating 

Moisture ant

  • Appearance: Moisture ants are generally about ⅛” long and are yellow to dark brown.
  • Lifecycle: This ant species can have colonies with thousands of ants that can survive over 20 years. Because of their long lifespan, moisture ants can threaten the structures they nest in.
  • Habitat: These ants prefer damp environments and make nests in water-damaged and decaying wood. Homeowners may notice soil accumulating in basement floors or through cracks in walls, often indicating a moisture ant infestation. They tend to carry soil into the building they’re nesting in, which they use to construct a carton nest.

Pavement ant

  • Appearance: Pavement ants are brown and around ⅛ of an inch long.
  • Lifecycle: Worker pavement ants can live for about five years, while queen pavement ants can live for five or more years.
  • Habitat: The name "pavement ant" originates from its inclination to nest in the soil adjacent to slabs, sidewalks, and driveways, often resulting in visible piles of displaced soil. Indoors, these types of ants nest beneath foundations and within hollow block walls, sometimes carrying soil up into walls for nesting. Soil appearing under baseboards or on basement floors may indicate pavement ant presence.
pavement ants tmx 

Pharaoh ant

  • Appearance: Pharaoh ants are a small, yellow ant species that measure around ⅛ of an inch long.
  • Lifecycle: This ant type has a relatively short lifespan. Queens live for about a year, and workers tend to live around 70 days.
  • Habitat: Pharaoh ants nest opportunistically in various locations, including walls, furniture, appliances, between sheets in closets, curtain rods, inside irons, small boxes, and under roofing shingles.
pharaoh ant tmx 

Sugar ant

  • Appearance: Sugar ants, also known as banded sugar ants, are typically between ¼” and ½” long. Their bodies are a brown-orange color, and they have large black heads.
  • Lifecycle: Worker sugar ants can survive up to seven years, and queens can survive up to fifteen.
  • Habitat: This ant species prefers to nest outdoors beneath rocks or soil, in hollow wood, and on tree branches or shrubs. They are primarily found in Australia.
sugar ant 

Texas leaf cutter ant

  • Appearance: Leaf cutter ants range in various sizes but, on average, are between ⅛ of an inch to ⅝ of an inch long. They’re a reddish-brown color.
  • Lifecycle: These types of ants can live for 10-15 years as long as the queen ant is alive.
  • Habitat: The Texas leaf cutter ant constructs large nests in soil, often reaching sizes of 1,000 square feet and housing over one million ants. Their nests are crater-shaped mounds that can extend 15 feet underground. This ant species is typically found in south-central Texas, extending into East Texas and Louisiana.

Twig ant

  • Appearance: Twig ants, also called the elongated twig ant and Mexican twig ant, are about 5/16 to ⅖” long. The color of this ant type depends upon where they live, but in general, this ant species is dark brown-black or orange-brown. They tend to have prominent, large, oval-shaped eyes and long bodies that resemble wasps.
  • Habitat: Twig ants have migrated from Mexico to the southern United States, although they're not commonly found here. Their nests usually consist of a single queen and a small entrance hole, often in twigs or plant cavities. Encounters with humans may result in painful stings, especially when disturbed in thick bushes.
mexican twig ant 

Understanding the types of ants

Understanding the different ant types is essential for effective pest management. Professional ant control is key for effectively identifying and eliminating ant colonies, preventing further infestations, and safeguarding homes from structural damage. If you suspect you have an ant problem, get started with ant control today.