Positive ant ID: Grab a magnifying glass and properly identify your pesky pests


Identify ants by their antics

If you notice an ant doing strange things with its heart-shaped abdomen — like raising it above its head — it's probably an acrobat ant. They usually prefer sweets and meats.

Biggest ants

Difficult to control

Carpenter ants are the largest ants in the U.S. and reside outdoors and indoors in moist, decaying or hollow wood. The ants' most common color is black. They also enjoy sweets.


Look to your sidewalk

Like their name hints at, pavement ants' nests are outdoors under stones, along curbs or in cracks of pavement. Careful: these light-brown ants can sting, but are not aggressive.


Use your nose to ID this ant

If you step on an ant and smell rotten coconut — yes, rotten coconut — you probably have odorous ants. These smelly pests will invade during wet weather looking for sweets.


Follow water for these ants

Moisture ants like — you guessed it — moisture. So look for these pests in high-moisture areas, especially wet, damaged wood. Or inside walls where there is a plumbing leak.

fire ants

Beware of this ant's bite

If you've been stung by one of these, you know how to identify a fire ant. The sensation is like intense burning. They favor warm, conditions and attack in large numbers.

Field ants

Lawns a favorite spot

Field ants nest in the ground in lawns, gardens, fields and parks. When disturbed they will bite. These ants make a mound with the soil that they excavate under the ground.


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