Ants always seem to find their way to any outdoor barbeque or picnic and quite often into our homes. Fortunately, most are just a nuisance and don’t cause any real harm to humans or structures with the exception to the carpenter ant and the fire ant. These nuisance ants can, however, get into air-conditioner units and short them out during the hot summer months, so if you have any air conditioner problems, you might want to check the outside unit to see if ants are the issue.
Most Ants Are Just A Nuissance, But Two Types Are Mighty
Although carpenter ants don’t cause harm to humans, they threaten the structure of a building. They are typically found in big hollow trees or stumps, burrowing into the wood, but since they like wood with a high moisture content any sort of water-damaged window frames, walls, and roofs will attract them. Unlike termites they do not eat or digest wood, they excavate it by making a small hole in the wood, creating tunnels and pushing out little pencil shaving-like wood debris.
The fire ant can cause harm to humans and some pets. If you’ve been outside at all, you’ve probably experienced the powerful stinging bite that is much larger than its tiny size. There are two invasive species: red and black varieties. These days the black variety is mostly limited to northern Mississippi and some parts of Arkansas along the Mississippi River. Other than those areas, the red ant dominates and is typically found. It is important to eliminate fire ants if you find them, because they can cause harm to humans and animals.