Ants crawling on spoonful of sugar.

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The ants come marching as early as April. As the weather warms up, ants come back up to the surface from their burrows. You’ll commonly find these armies invading your kitchen—the last place you would want them. Ants are attracted to areas where they have access to food and water, making your home a prime target.

Don’t let them fool you. These tiny insects can leave a lasting impact on your health and home. Taking steps to prevent an ant invasion is very important. As soon as you spot a line of ants, call in the professionals at Wil-Kil Pest Control. Our experts have decades of experience and knowledge to solve your ant infestation problems.

What Attracts Ants?

As natural foragers, ants are attracted to areas that provide a source of food and water. Ants love the sweet scent of sugar and even dingy trash; it doesn’t take much for your home to entice ants. If you keep fruit and vegetables on your countertop or dirty dishes in the sink, ants will take advantage of the free food. No matter how clean you keep your home, ants will find a missed crumb.

Crumbs and sweets aren’t the only things that will attract ants; water will too. From a leaky faucet to moist potting soil, ants need a source of water for survival. Like most living beings, ants are susceptible to dehydration. Therefore, they are constantly seeking out a source of water. Besides sinks and soil, ants live for potted plants. The sweet scent of blooms draws them in, while the moisture of the soil and honeydew keep them close by.

A closeup of a carpenter ant sitting on a piece of wood.

How Many Species of Ants are There?

There are five common species of ants you’ll see throughout Wisconsin, but there are hundreds of ant varieties all over the world. While they all may look about the same, these ant varieties have unique characteristics and features. The five species of ants are:

How to Identify Different Ants

It can be difficult to tell the difference between ants. With their tiny size and seemingly dark bodies, they can all look the same. But what makes them different?

  • Carpenter ants are typically a reddish black, with gold-toned hairs across their body.
  • Field ants are usually pale-yellow to reddish-brown with an unevenly rounded body.
  • Pharaoh ants usually have a red to yellow body, and a dark-toned abdomen.
  • Thief ants typically have brown and black bodies, with pale legs and antennas.
  • Pavement ants are light brown to black, with lighter legs and antennas. 

Can ants hurt me?

For the most part, these types of ants can’t hurt you. All ants have a set of pinchers, but they are more likely to run away from you than try to take you on. Field ants, however, have been known to bite people and pets if they are disturbed. Plus, their ability to spray formic acid makes their bite more painful. Other ant species can cause harm in other ways.

Do ants carry diseases?

Because of the various terrain ants will trek in search of food, it’s possible for ants to spread food-borne illnesses like salmonella and Streptococcus pathogens. Field, pharaoh, and thief ants are the most common offenders of contaminating your food. As they march around, ants pick up and carry various bacteria and pathogens, and bring them into your home. The bacteria they track in can end up all over your kitchen and in food containers.

Can ants damage my home?

As their names may suggest, both carpenter and pavement ants can cause damage to your home. Carpenter ants don’t eat wood, but they will tunnel through it. Their tunneling can cause structural damage to your home, while pavement ants can also cause structural damage by burrowing into cracks in your driveway pavement, walls, insulation, and under floors.

Keep Ants Out of Your Wisconsin Home with Wil-Kil

 While prevention is the best way to keep ants out of your home in the first place, it’s hard to do without the assistance of a professional pest control treatment. When you call the pest control specialists at Wil-Kil, we’ll perform a thorough inspection of your home and treat the interior and exterior of your home to address any points of entry ants might use to gain access to your home, and apply preventive and control treatments as needed. If ants are invading your home, contact Wil-Kil for a free quote today!