It is necessary to properly identify the ant species that you have in order to effectively eradicate them. Of the thousands of species of ants, the four listed below are the most commonly found in the United States.
Carpenter Ants: are about five eighths inches long. They tend to burrow in damp wood but have also been known to damage solid wood. They do not eat the wood, but simply remove it in order to build a nest.
Red Imported Fire Ants: vary in size from one-eighth to three-eighths inches. They construct large mounds for nests and administer painful stings.
Pavement Ants: are about one-eighth inch long. They generally make their nests in pavement cracks and are also capable of infesting a building.
Pharoah Ants: are about one-sixteenth inch long. These ants are commonly found in hospitals and nursing homes, where they are are capable of transmitting Staphylecoccus and Psuedomonas infections. Pharoah Ants also invade restaurants, apartment buildings and similar dwellings.
Ants with wings can easily be mistaken for termites, which may lead to a wrong treatment. In comparison, ants have a very narrow thorax (mid-section), while termites' bodies are more uniform.