What Does an Ant Look Like?
Many different ants live in the Mid-Atlantic. Ants have a body with three segments, a set of antennae, six jointed legs, and a tough exoskeleton. While these are common traits ants share, each species has unique characteristics that can help make it easier to tell them apart.
To properly deal with an infestation, it’s helpful to know what specific pest is causing the problem. This photo gallery can help you determine what kind of ant infestation you have in your home or business so that you can safely remove them and prevent future issues.
Odorous House Ant
Photo of odorous house ant
Sketch of an odorous house ant
Odorous house ants range in color from brown to black. Each of their two antennae has twelve segments with no clubs on the ends. Workers are between one-sixteenth and one-eighth of an inch long. Castes that mate are slightly larger and have wings.
Illustration of a pavement ant
Worker pavement ants are similar in size to odorous house ants. Members of this caste also have a stinger and two spines on their backs just before their abdomens. Winged swarmers can be up to twice as long as the workers. Each ant is dark brown or black with parallel lines on its head and thorax.
Side view of an Argentine ant
This type of ant is tiny, with the larger females only measuring up to one-fifth of an inch. Argentine ants have thin legs, a short thorax, and flatter heads than other species. While both male and female breeders have wings, females lose theirs after mating.
Sketch of an Argentine ant
Side view image of an Argentine ant
Top view image of an Argentine ant
Most castes of this kind of ant are dull brown, but reproductive adults are sometimes darker, as seen in these pictures.
Side view of a carpenter ant
Up-close image of a carpenter ant
Sketch image of a carpenter ant
Carpenter ants are one of the larger species in the Mid-Atlantic. Winged reproductive types may be up to three-quarters of an inch in length. Workers, on the other hand, lack wings and grow to just under half an inch. As these ant photos show, their bodies are slightly shiny and dark brown or black.
Profile photo of a carpenter ant
Top view image of a carpenter ant
Both carpenter ants and termites live in colonies and tunnel through wood, so people often confuse the two. These photos show the ant’s narrow waist between the abdomen and thorax, as well as its elbowed antennae. Termites, by contrast, are oval with straight antennae.
Drawing of a pharaoh ant
Pharaoh ants, sometimes lumped in with the more general “sugar ants,” are pale brown, but some also have a slight yellow tinge. Workers are typically around one-sixteenth of an inch while queens are over twice that size.
Illustration of a harvester ant
Top view image of a harvester ant
As these harvester ant images show, these pests are a deep, rust-red color. Each insect has antennae made up of twelve segments each. Workers are between one-quarter to three-eighths of an inch. Soldiers, also known as major workers, have much larger heads than the others.
Groups of acrobat ants
This species ranges in color from reddish-brown to darker brown or black. The abdomen of an acrobat ant looks like a heart, and each antenna has 11 main segments, along with three-segment clubs. Queens have wings which they will lose after mating and are five-sixteenths of an inch long. Workers are half that size or smaller.
Ghost ants scaled to a penny for size
Groups of ghost ants
Importance of Ant Identification
Understanding which species of ant is in your home or business is the first step in finding a solution to your pest problem. Color, size, antennae appearance, and body shape are often the easiest characteristics to use for identification. For more help determining what type of ants you have or addressing an active infestation, contact the experts at Western Pest Services.