Ants seem fairly harmless, in part because they are small. In fact, many societies teach children about ant behaviour and how humanity could benefit from emulating them. After all, every ant is intent on protecting its colony, and they all have jobs to do.
But, while most ants are harmless, there are still some species that can be dangerous, either to your health or to the health of your home. It’s important to be able to identify these, and if you find they are infiltrating your yard or home, get the local exterminators to resolve the issue.
The Bulldog Ant
The good news is that this ant is predominantly found in Australia. It is larger than a standard ant and has large compound eyes along with longer than usual mandibles.
These ants can jump, but the real issue is their aggressiveness. They can sting and bite simultaneously, and the venom they inject can be deadly. The ant will grip its victim with long, toothed mandibles, curl its body under a protective layer, and stab the skin with a long, barbless sting. You can suffer an allergic reaction to the bite, which can even kill any person.
These are also larger than your typical house ant, and they are a reddish brown colour. The fire ant earnt its name due to how painful the sting is. It will feel like you’ve been burned. The typical reaction is swelling and pus. However, if you’re prone to allergic reactions, the venom can cause anaphylactic shock.
Most of the time, young plants, insects, and seeds are what a typical fire ant colony feeds on as it builds vast mounds in open spaces. Small creatures, such as lizards, are frequently attacked by fire ants, which might result in their death. Fire ants don’t bite to sting; instead, they bite to grab an object and inject solenopsin, a poisonous alkaloid venom, into the wound, unlike many other ants who bite and subsequently spray acid on the wound.
The Bullet Ant
This ant was named after a bullet as it is said that being bitten by one feels the same as being shot by a bullet. The pain can last up to 24 hours, although it doesn’t usually trigger any further issues.
Some of the symptoms of bullet ant are described as waves of excruciating pain, temporary paralysis, and shaking in the poisoned area. However, the pain is only located in the area of the bite, and the venom doesn’t spread to the heart, brain, or other parts of the body.
The best defence against a bullet ant bite is to stay away from them at all times simply. If they believe you are a threat to their colony, repellent won’t work to keep them away. If they bite you, the only option you have is to clean the poison from the wound as soon as possible.
Florida Harvester Ants
These are found in warmer climates, and this ant has a similar venom to the cobra snake. It is exceptionally good at killing insects and can cause a nasty reaction in humans. In some cases, the venom can be lethal, although this is rare as it is in very small quantities.
These ants are very popular for collecting seeds, as their name suggests, harvester ants. In Florida, broad grasslands and deserts are home to huge harvester ants that create distinctive mounds. They crush seeds with their powerful teeth before storing them in granaries in their nests. As they seek food, harvester ants can hurt you with their painful stings and harm your grass and plants.
Harvester ants are occasionally unwanted guests on lawns and playgrounds, where they pose a risk of stinging passersby even if they do not infiltrate homes.
The carpenter ant deserves a place on this list, although it is not aggressive and doesn’t carry venom. This ant is mainly nocturnal. But, unlike other ants, it doesn’t build a nest in the ground. It burrows into the wood to create a network of tunnels. This is where the carpenter ant lives. As they only create a colony in the wood, they are less destructive than termites. But, a large colony of carpenter ants can still cause a significant amount of damage to the structure of your property.
To survive, carpenter ants need access to water. Eliminate sources of dampness or standing water to stop brown, red, or black carpenter ants from entering the home. Keep plants and tree branches away from home. Also, fix the cracks on your wooden furniture to protect it from these ants.
Bullhorn Acacia Ant
This ant looks a little like a tiny wasp and may make you feel it is cute. However, it offers a small sting which is just as painful as being stung by a wasp. The sting burns, although, for most people, this will pass in an hour or two. But, for some, it can lead to anaphylactic shock.
The bullhorn acacia ant has an orange-brown body around 3 mm in length and very large eyes.
The acrobat ant receives its popular name from the fact that when startled, it will raise its abdomen over its thorax and head. These ants, which actually consist of several different species, have been known to bite on occasion and release an offensive stench when disturbed.
Outdoors these acrobat ants can feed on honeydew from mealybugs, aphids, and live or dead insects. They are usually found under rocks or in firewood, logs, and trees. These ants prefer nesting in damp wood softened by fungi or decay. Occasionally, these ants will strip the insulation from electrical or telephone wires causing short circuits.
Since they love to stay in moist places, make sure your house is fully ventilated and the wooden furniture does not have moisture in it.
The Ghost Ants
The ghost ant is so named because it is hard to see due to its size and the pale hue of its legs and belly. These ants have thoraxes and dark heads.
Unless their nest is in danger, ghost ants do not sting and typically do not bite. The majority of the time, ghost ant bites cause very little discomfort and little to no signs of an allergic reaction. The ghost ant will construct nests both inside and outside of homes, making it a major domestic nuisance. These ants like eating sweets but also eat insects and oily meals. Since this ant is frequently found in close proximity to the homeowner’s kitchen and bathroom, its biggest effect might be the spread of pathogens.
Green Tree Ant
Green tree ants are a species of arboreal ant found in tropical Asia and Australia. They are fairly aggressive and won’t think twice to swarm when they perceive a threat to their nests, biting viciously in the process. They spray acid into the bite place from their abdomen, which makes it much more painful.
An amazing feat of insect engineering is used by Green Tree Ants to build their homes in the trees. These tall ants possess abilities beyond just building nests. They can even use their own bodies as the framework for bridges and ladders. Green Tree Ants are often moving around in search of food for their colonies. Insects and spiders are the most common tiny animals they may overpower and drag back to their nests.
Preventions Are Must
Currently, more than 12,500 different species of ants have been identified. According to the aforementioned information, despite their small size, these creatures should not be taken lightly. Learn about the ant species you must or should avoid if you do not want to meet an untimely demise. In order to protect your family from any potential threats, it is also advisable to adopt the required security measures to keep them outside of your house.
Ants’ natural inclination is to forage, as is well known. Don’t encourage them to enter your home if you want to avoid infestation. The best way to prevent ants from entering your home is to maintain it clean. Additionally, it pays well to inspect your home’s entire perimeter periodically. Eliminate any openings that insects could use to enter your property. Experts advise keeping your trash cans away from the actual structure of your home. To prevent insects of any type from entering your home, store them at the farthest corner.
Choose Pest Control:
If you encounter such ants at your home, even after taking utmost precautions, you can take the help of pest control. You can search for various companies that provide pest control facilities nearby your house. This way, you would be able to protect your family from unknown diseases and infections.
The Bottom Line
If you’re sure the ant in your house or yard is a common house ant, then you have little to worry about. But, if you’re not sure, it’s best to get the experts in. They can identify and eliminate any destructive ant.