Ants

ant bug central orange countyAnts are social insects of the family Formicidae and, along with the related families of wasps and bees, belong to the order Hymenoptera. Ants evolved from wasp-like ancestors in the mid-Cretaceous period between 110 and 130 million years ago and diversified after the rise of flowering plants. Today, more than 12,000 species are classified with upper estimates of about 14,000 species. They are easily identified by their elbowed antennae and a distinctive node-like structure that forms a slender waist.

Common Black Ants are very small and black, two nodes, with workers all one size, similar to the Pharaoh Ant. Found throughout the U.S. One of the more common house-infesting ants, Common Black Ants nest in wall voids and under carpets. May build outdoor colonies under rocks, logs, debris and forage to indoor food sources along baseboards and carpet edges. They like sweets, fats, and oils.

The Red Imported Fire Ant has invaded new territory, and it came without any natural controls to keep its numbers low and to keep it from spreading. The problems are numerous and dramatic, but possibly the two most important are the ability of this ant to cause a huge negative impact on the environment in the United States, and its ability to sting. One of the characteristics of the RIFA is that it commonly makes mounds of dirt above its underground colonies. These mounds may be as high as 3 feet, and they are composed of hard, compacted soil, that interferes with equipment used in harvesting crops or mowing lawns.