How to Get Rid of Ants - Types of Ants in Florida
Living in Florida has a lot of benefits: great weather, great people, and lots to do. But one of the major problems we have in Florida is ants. Somehow these small insects are able to find ways into almost any home. Learn about the types of ants in Florida as well as different ways to get rid of ants.
There are hundreds of ant species worldwide, so it’s understandable to get the different types of ants confused. In fact, many of these ants have different nicknames depending on where you are geographically.
Tiny Black Ants or Sugar Ants
The tiny black ants you typically see in your kitchen are sugar ants. These tiny ants are harmless to humans but dangerous to food. They’re attracted to carbs and sweets, meaning they will more than likely help themselves to your pantry or cabinets. Sugar ants can also be found in dishwashers if you do not keep the door tightly closed.
Red Ants or Fire Ants
The red ants that you commonly see in your yard or garden are fire ants. They’re called fire ants because their bites cause itchy welts and painful bites, even if you’re not allergic to them. Red ants can sting multiple times and will sting without feeling threatened.
Carpenter Ants or Bull Ants
Carpenter ants may also be known as bull ants. These ants search for voids where they can nest, or excavate soft materials like rotten wood or styrofoam. Bull ants can be either black, red, or a different combination of the two. Be careful when dealing with carpenter ants because their bite can really hurt.
Ghost ants have a dark head and a very light/translucent body color. They’re very fast, smaller than most ants, and have a sharp sense of smell. They’ll try and attack any open food that’s sweet, and their teeth are sharp enough to break through packaged food. Ghost ants can bite you, but only if they feel threatened.
These might be the worst ant to find in your home. It takes professional treatments to get rid of Pharaoh ants because they can survive through most conventional household pest treatments. They like sweet, fatty, and oily foods. Pharaoh ants can be yellowish or red in color. Similar to ghost ants, Pharaoh ants only bite if they feel threatened.
Sugar ants, Pharaoh ants, and ghost ants will be attracted to your food, but bull ants ants pose a bigger problem. Because bull ants like to live in wood, you should make sure they aren’t living in your walls or foundation by calling a pest management professional to make sure this isn’t the case.
That said, you should be able to get rid of smaller ant populations with these ideas:
- Cornmeal. Ants are attracted to cornmeal and will want to eat it, but their bodies can’t digest it. Any ant that eats kill cornmeal will die, so sprinkle it where you see ants inside, or near the colony outside if you know where they live.
- Vacuum. Use a vacuum or dust-bust the ants when you see them, then sprinkle some talcum powder and vacuum that up as well. The talcum powder will make sure they die inside the vacuum instead of just giving them a new home.
- Borax. Take 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, 2 tablespoons of borax, 1 teaspoon of water, and mix well. Place this mixture on pieces of cardboard where you see ants. They’ll carry it back to the nest and the other ants will eat it die from the borax. Don’t have this mixture near infants or pets.
- Dish soap. Mix dish soap, water, and some rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and spray it on ants you see in your home. This will kill them.
- Boiling water. If you know where the ant colony lives, or if you’re able to follow them back to their nest, pour boiling water down into the hole. This should wipe out the colony.
Don’t Let Ants Make You Antsy—Get Professional Help!
These tips should help you get rid of ants. But for incredibly small creatures, ants can come up with ingenious ways of getting inside a home and disturbing your family. Sometimes it’s impossible to naturally keep ants away, and that's when you need professional help.
At Paul’s Termite and Pest Control, our ant control experts are here to help. Our treatments are science-based and eco-friendly, meaning you can count on an ant-free and chemical-free home.
This blog was written by Kent D. Edmunds, CEO of Paul's Pest Control. Kent has been working with Paul's Termite & Pest Control since 1989 and is a certified pest control operator in both Georgia and Florida.