Identifying Common Ants & Their Mounds

fire ants on an anthill outside of a home in dallas texas

Ants are remarkably adept when it comes to adapting to their environments. This depends on the species of ant as well as where it’s found. It’s worth noting that not all ant species build large, tell-tale mounds. Some species are more prone to build large craters the connect to intricate networks of tunnels, the entrance to which are many times found between gaps and missing chunks in concrete and pavement.

Some species, like harvester ants, pyramid ants, Argentine ants, Allegheny mound ants, Texas leaf cutter ants, and red imported fire ants have been known to build elaborate nests that present a large target for predators and humans who wish to rid themselves of an infestation. Mounds are the most obvious and easily spotted sign that ants are present in the area, but it’s worth remembering that, like an iceberg, only a small fraction of the actual structure can be seen above ground.

Ant mounds are always built by workers, and often at incredible speeds. The characteristic mound-like structure is actually an incidental by-product of workers removing and relocating bottom soil to make room for more tunnels and nesting chambers. With nowhere else for it to go, this soil is merely deposited near the surface by the workers, which, after a period of time, will take on the characteristic mound shape a the tunnels become deeper and deeper.

The ant mound, apart from being a byproduct of excavation, has three major purposes. The first, and the most obvious to the casual observer, is that it serves as the entrance and exit to the deeper tunnel system of the nest from the surface. Likewise, the mound also serves to maintain the internal temperature of the nest, which can be important when the lives of thousands of ant larvae are on the line.

The mound serves as a means of protection from predators who would wish to damage or destroy the nest. It provides a safe place for the ants to retreat to if under attack, and, as it’s made up of fine dirt particles as well as some plant material, offers a degree of cushion again the impact from larger predators. Apart from the physically harmful bites and stings that ants can inflict on both humans and pets, an ant infestation may cause costly damage to landscaping and may negatively impact the overall aesthetics of the area. It’s worth mentioning, though, that if you do come across an ant mound or two in your yard, it’s a wise decision not to play live and let live with the ants.

Once you begin to ignore the problem, the ants can multiply and reproduce astonishingly quickly, and the problem will become vastly more difficult to deal with than if you had called a professional at the outset. Cantu Pest & Termite is proud to be the first pest control company in Houston, Texas, to offer Cantu Green Services to our customers in search of a more prevention-based solution to their pest removal while minimizing the use of pesticides.

If ants or other pests have made unwanted appearances around your home or business, call Cantu Pest & Termite and schedule a home pest control service today with one of our friendly, experienced ant removal experts.

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