Ants are a frustrating pest because they crawl all over everything, get into our food, and once they infest your home, they are hard to get rid of. Ant activity ramps up when the weather gets warm. In this blog post, we talk about common ants in Louisiana, whether or not they are dangerous, and how to get rid of them.
8 common types of ants in Louisiana
Ants are a common and well-known insect pest. But not all ants are the same. Let’s take a look at some of the types of ants you may find in your southern Louisiana home and learn whether or not they are dangerous.
1. Argentine ants
Argentine ants came to Southern Louisiana from South America and have been causing problems for homeowners ever since. They are not dangerous, but they are nuisance pests that can enter your boat, car, home, or other structure looking for food and shelter. What makes them hard to control is that they have huge colonies and are able to scatter and relocate successfully if you spray an ant repellent around your house.
2. Carpenter ants
Carpenter ants are one of the most common species of ants found in the greater New Orleans area. They are most active in the springtime when they swarm. Carpenter ants can bite and it can be painful because of their strong jaws. But their bites don’t pose a significant health threat. Carpenter ants can damage your home or property if they’re not controlled. Their unique identifier is their larger size and their coloring black, red, or a combination of the two.
3. Crazy ants
Crazy ants like warm, humid clients which means they prefer living in Southern Louisiana. They get their name because of their quick, erratic movements. And while they are more likely to be found outdoors, they can also nest inside. They’re not dangerous to humans, but they are a nuisance and can find their way into electrical equipment causing short circuits and power outages. Their unique identifier is their dark brown color, long legs and antennae, and fast movements.
4. Little black ants
Little black ants are one of the most common species of ants found in New Orleans and the surrounding area. They are nuisance pests that are annoying if you find them in your yard or inside your home. Luckily, they’re not dangerous – just hard to get rid of! These ants are hungry and will eat other insects, sweet foods, and oily foods.
5. Pavement ants
As you can infer by their name, pavement ants are found outside on the pavement, and they are most common in urban areas in Louisiana. They are not dangerous, but they can invade your house in large numbers. They also don’t bite, although they do possess the ability to sting.
6. Pharaoh ants
Pharaoh ants are found in Southern Louisiana, and they like living in dark, narrow spaces like cardboard boxes. They are dangerous because they can carry and transmit serious diseases to people including salmonella and Streptococcus. Pharaoh ants’ unique identifier is their yellowish color and double waist.
7. Red imported fire ants
Red imported fire ants arrived on the Gulf Coast in the 1930s and have been invasive across Louisiana ever since. Their unique identifier is their reddish-brown color and double waist. Fire ants are dangerous because they threaten many crop plants and young trees. They are aggressive and can sting repeatedly injecting venom.
8. Trap jaw ants
Trap jaw ants are big ants that have taken over in the Southeast, including the New Orleans area. Their unique identifier is their jaw – noticeable because it protrudes from their head and closes horizontally. They are dangerous because they move fast and they can sting. You can find them in your hard, usually underneath dead wood piles or wet debris.
Ant prevention tips
The best way to avoid an ant infestation is through prevention. If you are a homeowner in New Orleans or any of the River Parishes, and you are wondering how to get rid of ants, follow these tips:
- Eliminate food sources – both indoors and outdoors. This means storing food in sealed containers, ripe fruit in the refrigerator, and lids on trashcans. It also means wiping down counters and sticky jars and sweeping floors regularly. If you have pets, keep pet food stored in a sealed container and their food bowls clean.
- Eliminate water sources – both indoors and outdoors. This means repairing leaky pipes and faucets and reducing moisture and standing water inside and outside of your home. Use a dehumidifier in damp, moist spaces such as attics, crawlspaces, or basements. If you have pets, clean up any spilled water and be aware that water bowls can attract ants.
- Eliminate access points. Keep trees and bushes trimmed away from your home. Seal any cracks on the outside of your home with caulk, and inspect the outside of your home for any small places ants might enter.
- Be aware of areas that ants frequent. This includes kitchens where they can find food and water, plus air conditioning and heating units, bathrooms, basements, bedrooms, living rooms, and inside your walls.
Does DIY pest control work for ants?
To do it yourself (DIY) or not do it yourself is the question many Southern Louisiana homeowners may ask when it comes to ants. The best DIY ant solution is to practice the ant prevention techniques above. But what about DIY ant repellents – homemade sprays or products purchased at the store?
We’ve talked about the dangers of DIY pest control before including environmental risk and exposure, incorrect application, the return of pests, and misidentification and misuse of products. All of these risks apply to ant control:
- Not every species of ant responds to a certain type of bait or repellent.
- Homemade remedies such as cinnamon or vinegar may work, but their effectiveness is short-lived.
- There are a lot of ants in your home that you cannot see. This means that applying DIY ant control remedies only reaches visible ants, not colonies or ants living and nesting in hidden areas of your home.
- Misapplication of ant control projects is an issue. Homeowners can over-apply pesticides in their homes, which can be a hazard for their families and pets.
- DIY ant control methods might save you money in the short term. However, in the long term, you may wind up not saving a thing as ants could pop up over and over again.
Pest control for ants in the greater New Orleans area
Ant control is best left up to the professionals because they will not only get rid of the existing ant infestation, but they will prevent future ants from invading your yard and your home. A local pest control professional is highly trained and experienced in dealing with the different types of ants in your area and knows the correct ant control products to use and the right amount to apply.
At LaJaunie’s Pest Control, our pest control targets the eradication of common Louisiana pests including ants. Do you have an ant problem? We’ll start by conducting a free, thorough inspection to identify the type of ant infestation you’re dealing with and then we’ll create a customized treatment plan based on the needs of your property and situation. We also offer same-day service and Saturday service with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Give us a call at 985-859-7378 or contact us here to learn more.