Perhaps the most common pest throughout Wisconsin homes is ants. As kids we spend time viewing ants under a magnifying glass. As adults we spend time trying to keep them out of our homes where they infest food in the kitchen. If you’re asking yourself, “why are there ants in my kitchen?” we’re here to help you get some answers.

Types of Ants in Wisconsin

There are a wide variety of ant species that can be found in Wisconsin. Being able to identify them will help in determining if potential issues are at hand. Below are the ants native to Wisconsin and why they may become an intruder in your home.

    • Black Carpenter Ant – are black, red or brown in color,roughly a 1/8th to 1/2th an inch in length and feature a round thorax (segment just below the head). Finding these ants in your home means bigger problems as they don’t feed off food we eat. They make their nests in decaying wood. If you’re seeing carpenter ants run across the walls of your home, it’s could be an indication of a structural issue in your home.


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  • Field Ants – are pale yellow, reddish-brown or black in color, roughly 1/8th – 3/8th of an inch in length and have an uneven mid-section. While they’re known to feed on honeydew, nectar and insects, they can occasionally feed on household sweets if they find their way indoors.

  • Pavement Ants – are light brown to black in color, roughly 1/4th of an inch in length and have appendages that are lighterthan the rest of their bodies. While their homes are primarily in sidewalks, driveways and under rocks, they make their way indoors during spring and summer when searching for sugary and greasy foods. It’s often this type of ant that will find its way in your kitchen when there is a colony nearby.

  • Pharaoh Ants – are light yellow to red in color with black on their abdomen, roughly 1/16thofan inch in length and are able to travel almost anywhere due to their small size. These feed on a variety of household items, such as greasy and fatty foods, sweets and even toothpaste or soap. You may find these ants in your home’s bathrooms.

  • Odorous House Ants – are brown to black in color, roughly 1/16th to 1/8th of an inch in length and release a rotten odor when crushed. When conditions outside are wet, they intrude homes in search for sweets and meats.

  • Thief Ants – are yellowish to tan in color, roughly 1/16th of an inch in length and are often mislabeled as pharaoh ants due to their similarities in color and size. Thief ants prefer protein and fat, therefore they can be spotted in your home feeding on meat, cheese and peanut butter.

Removing Ants from your Wisconsin Home

There are many other species of Wisconsin ants, but only a handful find their way into homes. While there are dozens of store bought products you can use to try to eliminate or trap ants, they rarely work and won’t get rid of the problem for good. A pest professional can help identify the colony nearby and eliminate the root of your ant problem. Take care of nuisance ants by partnering with Wil-Kil today or give us a call for additional information.