Ant Identification and Control


Ant identification can be quite a challenge, they are also hard to kill. Start by looking for trails. Ants very rarely travel alone and are usually spotted when they’re hunting as a colony along paths that have been well established. When you’ve found a trail, look at the sizes of the ants. Are they identical or do they vary in size? Also observe when the ants are active—during the day or at night? Look for nests at the end of trails—especially in areas with soil. Soil nests have distinct shapes or patterns depending on the ant species.


Fun Facts About Ants

Ant infestations tend to happen fast. Regardless of whether your ant problem is an annoyance or an all-out infestation, you may be surprised to learn how fascinating these little creatures actually are.

  • Ants can be hard to kill
  • Ants farm aphids
  • Some common ants are new to the U.S
  • Ants live in complex cultures
  • There are more than 22,000 types of ants


Ant Behavior 

Ants are social insects that live in colonies and have several different types or castes of individuals. Each caste has a different function or job in the colony.

  • Workers forage for food, construct the nest and care for the young and the reproductives.
  • Reproductives include the original queen and the swarmers. The original queen’s job is to lay eggs. Swarmers are winged males and females that fly out to start new colonies and spread to new areas. These swarmers mate during the swarm, and the male dies soon after. The queen then locates a suitable nesting site, sheds her wings and begins to set up a colony.

Ants develop by complete metamorphosis, meaning the eggs hatch into larvae that must be cared for by the workers. The larvae pupate into adult workers or reproductives. After two or three years, the colony matures and begins to produce swarmers every year.


Ant Life Cycle

The lifespan of ants depends on the caste. Males live for only a few weeks and die after mating. Workers usually live for several months. Queens can live for decades under the right conditions.


Ant Identification and  Control: To get rid of ants, it is important to identify the ant species before attempting ant control. Some ant species, like Pharaoh ants, can be controlled using baits, while others cannot. To get rid of ants successfully, it is usually necessary to follow them back to their colony and treat the colony directly. Moore Pest Solutions can correctly identify your ants, kill them, and control future outbreaks.


The 10 Most Common Ant Species in the Pacific Northwest.


Pogonomyrmex occidentalis

Western Harvester Ant

Linepithema humile

Argentine Ant

Solenopsis molesta

Thief Ant

Tapinoma sessile

Odorous House Ant 

Tetramorium caespitum

Pavement Ant 


Camponotus spp.

Carpenter Ant

Monomorium pharaonis

Pharaoh Ant

Formica spp.

Western Thatching Ant

Solenopsis invicta

Fire Ant