- Color: light to dark brown
- Size: 1/8 inch long
- Feed on: anything live or dead
- Nests: nests may be found in all types of piled items, including lumber, rocks, and other debris. Wall voids, insulation, and bath traps may serve as nest sites for this ant.
- Identifying Characteristic: there is one visible node present on the pedicel. Colonies contain multiple queens and are large and expansive, consisting of many nests. Argentine ant colonies are not aggressive toward one another and mix freely among nests, permitting colonies to grow to enormous sizes.
- Color: Varies depending on species, from red to black, but the most common in the Washington / Oregon areas are black.
- Size: one of the largest ants, adults can be up to 1 inch long. some species are as small as 3/8 inch, and are often confused with other small ants
- Feed on: a wide variety of foods, primarily sweets and proteins, including honeydew, honey, bread, meats, nuts, tuna, as well as other insects.
- Nests: in wet, decayed, or damaged wood of outdoor tree stumps, logs, firewood, or landscaping wood. Will also tunnel through wood of structures for their nests.
- Identifying Characteristic: winged swarmers; small piles of coarse sawdust or wood shavings around openings where ants have been excavating their nests; and/or sound – active colonies often making a dry, rustling sound that gets louder if disturbed.
European Fire Ant
- Color: mainly red in color, with slightly darker pigmentation on the head
- Feed on: honeydew excreted by aphids, and, being very aggressive like to eat many types of insect and other invertebrates
- Nests: live under stones, fallen trees, and in soil. Colonies have a polygene form, and can have up to one hundred queens per nest. The queens can live up to fifteen years. Hundreds of young queens and males take to the air to mate together. Afterwards, the males die and the queens shed their wings to make a new colony.
- Identifying Characteristic: they are aggressive ants, often attacking rather than running away, and are equipped with a sting.
- Color: yellow to dark brown
- Size: about 1/8 inch long
- Feed on: sweets, often entering homes to feed on sugary foods
- Nests: make nests in water damaged, decaying wood, where they can accelerate decay and weaken structures
- Identifying Characteristic: notched back on the ant and nesting signs of cardboard-like tunneling in moist wood and sawdust under entry/exit points
Odorous House Ant
- Color: Brown or black
- Size: 1/16-1/8-inch long
- Feed on: Drawn primarily to sweets, especially melon
- Nests: make their homes in exposed soil and wall cracks.
- Identifying Characteristic: a strong, rotten coconut-like smell when crushed.
- Color: Dark brown to blackish
- Size: 1/8-inch long
- Feed on: eat almost anything, including insects, seeds, honeydew, honey, bread, meats, nuts and cheese.
- Nests: live in or under pavement cracks
- Identifying Characteristic: piles of sand on sidewalks, driveways, or even basement floors from nests beneath.
- Color: light yellow to reddish-brown in color with a darker abdomen
- Size: 1/16-inch, or 2.0 millimeters, in length
- Feed on: many household foods and also damage silk, rayon, rubber goods and insect collections
- Nests: Pharaoh ants can be found in hotels, large apartment buildings and groceries. Colonies are populous and usually established in inaccessible places in buildings. The Pharaoh ants breed continuously throughout the year usually in heated buildings and mating takes place in the nest. Mature colonies of this species contain several queens, workers, winged males, eggs, larvae, pre-pupae and pupae.
- Identifying Charcteristic: workers have a non-functional stinger used to generate pheromones
- Color: black to red and black
- Size: medium to large ants (3/16 – 5/16 inch long)
- Feed on: caterpillars, small beetles, dead moths and others
- Nests: construct mounds from small pieces of plant material. The number of adult workers per colony may be as high as 40,000, and sizes of mounds are highly variable and dependent on the age and health of the colony. The height of the average mound ranges from 1 inch (1.5cm) to 18 inches (45.7cm), although nests of larger heights are not uncommon. Nests can extend up to 4 feet (1.2 meters) into the ground.
Velvety Tree Ant
- Color: velvety black abdomen with dark head and reddish thorax
- Size: 1/8 to 1/4 inch
- Feed on: sweets, honeydew, and insects
- Nests: nest in dead wood, such as old trees and logs; may also infest structural wood and insulation
- Identifying Characteristic: this ant gets its name from its glistening abdomen made up of dense, fine hairs; it has a very distinct odor when crushed