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Ants (Hymenoptera:  Formicidae)

Below are some of the more common ants that you are most likely to encounter in the Pacific Northwest.  Please feel free to scroll down for more information to help identify your pest.


Western Thatching Ant


Treatment:  If outside, mound can be treated, usually within one application but sometimes taking more because the nests are usually very large.  If inside, treatment can be made in wall voids as well as perimeter sprays.

Carpenter Ants

Odorous Ants

 (sugar ants)

Moisture Ants

Western Thatching Ant

Other WA Ants

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Odorous House Ants  (aka Sugar Ants)


Treatment:  This ant can be difficult to eradicate yet control can be accomplished.  Usually treatment involves baiting in conjunction with perimeter sprays and a quarterly service to prevent from reinfesting.


Moisture Ants


Treatment:  Usually the remedy is to remove the decayed wood and replace with sound material as well as applying treatment.

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Other Washington Ants:

Acrobat Ant  (shown in heading picture above)

Aphaenogaster Ant

Argentine Ant

False Honey Ant

Ghost Ant

Harvester Ant

Little Black Ant

Little Fire Ant

Pavement Ant

Pharaoh Ant

Ponerine Ant

Rover Ant

Slave-Making Ant

Thief Ant

Velvety Tree Ant

White Footed Ant


These are various ants that may come into play in Washington state but are not as common.  Some of these varieties have multiple queens in colony and it would be a mistake to disturb them.


Treatment:  Treatment will vary depending on species, however most ants are treated with baits in conjunction with special sprays that target the insect only without the insect even knowing it.  Also important to note is the changing of the habitat if in wet or rotting wood within the structure.

Carpenter Ants


Treatment:  There are a number of excellent products to safely eliminate this insect from your home or business.  It can take several treatments to fully eradicate depending on the infestation level.  Usually the colony can be eradicated within a few services over a period of one week to three months but sometimes it can take up to a year depending on the time of year, the level of infestation, and how many are foraging.  Each situation must be evaluated separately.  It all depends on how many ants we are able to get in contact with the product.  Some species are highly elusive.

#Carpenter #Odorous #Moisture #Thatching #Other

Ants are very common social insects.  It is thought there are over 14,000 species living in almost every environment on the earth.  Ant colonies can range from several hundred to several million workers.  Some colonies can live for over 20 years or more depending on the species.  


All ants go through a growth cycle called Complex Metamorphosis (similar to that of wasps, bees, beetles, and fleas).   In this particular growth cycle the insect goes from egg to larva to pupa to adult.  


Ant colonies normally contain three distinct castes within the colony:  males, queens, and workers.  The workers in some species come in three different sizes within the colony (polymorphic) which include soldier, major, and minor.  Some species also have several queens within each colony (polygenic).  


Ant colonies reproduce themselves through swarming or budding.     When swarming, the winged reproductive males and females leave the nest to mate.  Soon after, the males die by starvation and the newly inseminated queens will usually lose their wings and begin new colonies.  When budding, the separation process occurs on the ground, there is no flying involved


Ants generally enter the structure looking for food or shelter.   They use scent trails to direct each other.  This is why they can re-infest after the products break down.  Customers with the quarterly service rarely have ant (or general insect) problems since we keep reinforcing the protective barrier around the perimeter of their home.


Is it an ant or a  termite?


The way to tell the difference between an ant and a termite

General Ant Biology

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