Types of Ants in Ontario Homes and Gardens: Dealing with Nuisance Ants


If you want to efficiently get rid of ant infestation, you need to be familiar with the different types of ants in Ontario. It’s because not all ant types form colonies in the same areas and not all of them target the same food sources.

You’d be surprised that there are insects that prefer eating certain types of food or staying in certain areas on your property. Determining which ant variety you’re dealing with can help make managing and controlling the infestation easier.

Uncontrolled ants can be a problem, especially for gardeners since the insects carry aphids, mealybugs, and other pests that suck the sap of plants. These pests will also often feed on the sweet tasking bi-product from the insects feeding on the plants.

Why Ants Are a Nuisance for Homeowners and Gardeners

Ants can be very annoying especially when they target food sources in homes. These pests will often invade your kitchen, dining tables, and even your patios as long as there is food and water present. Since these insects are very small they can form colonies in many crevices and cracks in most homes.

Gardens are also not safe for ant infestation. It’s because some ants sting you when you accidentally step on them and you end up having painful welts that last for days. Some will sting you and create burning sensations on the skin which can be very uncomfortable.

The worst thing about having ant infestations in your garden is their infesting habits. They will form colonies inside the wood and destroy the structure of your garden or home. Too many ant colonies can be risky to your property.

Ant Species That Invade Residential Properties

There is a variety of ant species that you could find in gardens and homes. Learning what they are will help you understand how to control and manage infestations caused by these insects on your property.

1.  Odorous House Ants

You can find these insects under logs, stones, mulch, and even in debris. They build their nests there and sometimes, they will also create colonies in bird nests or inside your walls, insulation, and window frames.

What makes these insects different from the rest is the foul odor that they emit. Unlike other ants, these pests have a specific odor from them that you will know right away. You start to smell the “odor” when you crush the insects and a “rotten coconut” odor starts to fill the air.

An effective way of getting rid of these insects is to trim your trees and make sure no shrubbery is nearby your house. It also helps to place baits around their ensign areas to lure them away from your property.

2.  Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are one of the most dangerous insects to infest your property. It’s because they can cause significant structural damage that could endanger you and your family. They live in colonies and tend to form infestations in wood structures.

These insects are mostly black with yellow hairs on their abdomen. They love building colonies in decaying wood and would often be very active at night. One way to keep them off your property is to ensure that your wood structures are dry.

When you find a nest, destroy it quickly. If it helps call professionals who can permanently remove the nests. It’s also a good idea to use bait stations to lure the insects away from your home. You could also use residual insecticides as long as you know how to use them safely.

3.  Pavement Ants

Pavement ants are insects that you usually find on concrete pavements. They also like to nest in walls, under your floors, and on patio stones. These pests are about 2.5 to 4mm and are often in brown to black colors with pale legs.

One way to identify them from the rest of the pests is the two spines located at the end of their thorax. To get rid of these insects you will have to locate where their nest is and either place bait stations to lead them away or use insecticides (that are safe to use).

4.  Thief Ants

Thief ants are very tiny insects, and they often build nests near other ant species. You can recognize these insects from their pale yellow color or light to deep brown shades. They are typically about 1.5 to 2.2 mm in length.

You can use water to spray them out of their nests or use bait stations to lure them away. These insects are often nesting in walls, window sills, or nearby food sources. You are likely to find them where there is already an existing ant colony nearby.

5.  Pharaoh Ants

Pharaoh ants are among the larger colonies of ants, they have many nests and appear to have yellow-brown to light red colors. They are about 2mm long and love to be in warm and humid areas of the house. You can always find them in the kitchen or the bathroom.

These insects also love to build nests in baseboards and behind your interior walls making them quite challenging to detect and get rid of. An effective way to get rid of them is by placing bait stations to lure them out of their nest.

Prevent Infestations From Happening

Insects as small as ants will always try and infiltrate properties because of how small and undetectable they are. The best way to handle them is to always keep your surroundings clean. Don’t leave food sources and crumbs and always wash your dishes.

Dirty dishes and kitchen tables are a haven for these pests since this is where they can easily find food particles. By the end of every meal or day, you have to ensure that your kitchen counters and sink are always clean not only to deter these insects but also other pests such as cockroaches.

When you have ant infestations that you can’t control, it’s best to call in the experts. Professional pest control companies have the skills and equipment to remove pests from your area no matter what species they are. That’s why it’s crucial to be familiar with the different types of ants in Ontario.