Ants are one of the most diverse and abundant insects in Ontario. There are over 200 species of ants in the province, making them a fascinating and important part of the local ecosystem. Ants play an important role in the environment by providing food for other animals, controlling insect populations, and helping to break down organic matter. They can also be beneficial to humans, as they can help control pests in gardens and can help prevent erosion.
Some of the types of ants in Ontario includes Pavement Ant, Odorous House Ant, Thief Ant, Cornfield Ant, and Field Ant. Let us quickly discuss the different types of ants that can be found in Ontario, as well as some of their key characteristics and habitats.
Types Of Ants In Ontario
1. Pavement Ant
The Pavement Ant (Tetramorium caespitum) is a type of ant in Ontario and a species of ant native to Europe and Northern Africa, but it has spread across North America. In Ontario, it is most often found in urban areas. The pavement Ant is a small, dark ant that is black or brown in colour. It is approximately 2.5 to 3mm in length and has two spines on its back. The antennae are elbowed, and the thorax has a single pair of spines.
Pavement ants feed on a wide variety of food sources, including insects, spiders, honeydew, and human food sources. They are also known to feed on the larvae of other ant species. Pavement ants tend to nest in pavement or other man-made structures. They may also build nests in soil, under stones, or in wood. They are social insects and live in colonies that can range from a few dozen to thousands of individuals.
Pavement ants can be a nuisance when they enter homes in search of food. They often enter through cracks in foundations or around windows and doors. They can also infest lawns, flower beds, and gardens. The best way to control pavement ants is to identify and eliminate their nests.
This can be done by removing plants and other organic material from the vicinity of the nest, sealing up cracks and crevices, and treating the nest with an insecticide. In extreme cases, professional pest control services may be necessary.
2. Odorous House Ant
Another types of ants in Ontario is Odorous house ants. Odorous House Ants (Tapinoma sessile) are a species of ant native to North America. They are found across Canada, especially in Ontario, where they are one of the most common ant species. They measure about 3 mm in length, and are dark brown to black in colour. They have one node (segment) on the petiole (waist) between the thorax and the abdomen.
The Odorous House Ant gets its name from the smell it produces when crushed. This smell has been described as similar to rotten coconut or blue cheese, although it is not always noticeable.
Odorous House Ants are active all year round, but will become especially visible during the warm weather months. They build nests in cavities, such as wall and floor voids, cracks in wood, and beneath stones or logs. They prefer sweet food sources such as honeydew produced by aphids, and sugary food scraps.
When a food source is located, Odorous House Ants will follow the same trail to and from the food source, creating a large network of ants. This can become a nuisance in homes, as the ants can march through the kitchen and other areas. In addition, they will also protect their food sources and will bite when disturbed or threatened.
The best way to control Odorous House Ants is to eliminate the food sources they are attracted to. This can include sealing any cracks or crevices in the home, cleaning up food scraps and spills, and eliminating sources of standing water. If these methods are not effective, a professional pest control service may be necessary.
3. Thief Ant
Thief ants are one of the most common species of ant found in Ontario, Canada. They are small, yellowish-brown ants, measuring only 2-3 mm in length, and they are easily identified by their slender, pointed mandibles.
Thief ants get their name from their habit of nesting near other species of ants, and then stealing food and resources from their neighbours. They are most active during the warmer months of the year, and they can be found in a variety of habitats, including fields, gardens, and homes.
Thief ants feed on a variety of foods, including other insects, honeydew, and other sugary substances. They are also known to feed on the eggs and larvae of other ant species, giving them their “thief” name. In homes, they have been known to feed on pet food, sugary liquids, and other household items.
Thief ants are very difficult to eradicate once they have infested a home or building. Their small size makes them difficult to see, and they are able to spread quickly throughout the building. It is important to identify the source of the infestation, and then use a combination of baits and insecticides to get rid of the ants. Baits that contain boric acid or pyrethroids are effective at controlling thief ants, as are residual insecticides.
Thief ants are a nuisance to homeowners and can cause significant damage to food sources and other areas of the home. It is important to take steps to prevent their infestation, such as sealing cracks and crevices around doors and windows, and making sure that food is stored in airtight containers. Taking the proper steps to prevent thief ant infestations can help keep homes and buildings free of these pesky pests.
4. Cornfield Ant
The Cornfield Ant (Lasius neoniger) is a species of ant native to Ontario, Canada. It is a small, black ant that is found in agricultural fields, gardens, and other areas where there is a lot of activity. The Cornfield Ant is a nuisance pest, as it can contaminate food and spread disease.
Cornfield Ants are typically about 5-7 mm in length, and have a shiny black body. They have a short, blunt head and long antennae. They have six legs and two sets of pincers. The Cornfield Ant is most active during the summer months, when temperatures are warm and the air is dry.
Cornfield Ants often make their nests in or around agricultural fields, as the soil contains a lot of food sources. This includes plant roots, seeds, and other organic matter. The ants will also forage for food in gardens and other areas where there is a lot of activity. They can be found in large numbers around compost piles, garbage cans, and other areas where food is present.
The Cornfield Ant can be a nuisance pest, as they can contaminate food and spread disease. They are also known to bite humans and other animals. To prevent infestations, be sure to seal any cracks and crevices around the home and keep food sources sealed and out of reach. If an infestation is noticed, contact a professional pest control company to help get rid of the ants.
5. Field Ant
Field ants (Formica sp.) are a species of ant common to Ontario, Canada. These ants are found in both urban and rural areas, and are among the most common ant species found in the province.
Field ants are small, black ants with yellow or red markings on their heads and thorax. They have six legs and long, pointed antennae. They measure approximately 2-3 mm in length.
Field ants are social insects, living in large colonies that can contain up to several hundred thousand workers. The colonies are usually located in open, sunny areas, such as fields, meadows, pastures, and lawns. Field ants build large mounds, which can reach up to 2 feet in diameter. These mounds are composed of soil and small stones, and are used to house the colony.
Field ants are omnivorous, meaning they feed on both plants and animals. They eat a variety of foods, including honeydew (a sweet liquid produced by aphids), nectar, pollen, small insects, and other plant matter. They also collect and store seeds in their nests for later use.
Field ants are beneficial to the environment as they help to control insect pests and disperse plant seeds. They are also important pollinators, helping to spread pollen from flowering plants.
Field ants can be a nuisance to gardeners and homeowners, as they may damage plants and invade homes in search of food. They can also be a health hazard, as their stings can be painful and cause allergic reactions in some people. If you find field ants in or around your home, it is best to contact a pest control professional for advice on how to safely remove them.
Ontario is home to over 200 species of ants, all of which fall into two major categories: ground-dwelling ants and wood-dwelling ants. Ground-dwelling ants are typically smaller and can be found in gardens, fields, and lawns. They feed on a variety of food sources, including plant material, insects, and other arthropods.
Ground-dwelling ants can be further divided into two subgroups; odorous house ants and field ants. Odorous house ants are typically small and dark-colored, and are found in houses, garages, and other human-inhabited areas. Field ants are larger and lighter-colored, and are primarily found in meadows, fields, and other open areas. Wood-dwelling ants are typically larger and darker-colored, and can be found in wooded areas.
They feed on a variety of food sources, including insects, arthropods, and tree sap. Wood-dwelling ants can be further divided into two subgroups; carpenter ants and carpenter bees. Carpenter ants are typically larger and dark-colored, and can be found in wooded areas. Carpenter bees are typically smaller and lighter-colored, and are primarily found in wooded areas with decaying wood.
In conclusion, the types of Ants in Ontario can be divided into two major categories; ground-dwelling ants and wood-dwelling ants. Each type of ant has its own unique characteristics, behaviors, and habitats. By understanding the different types of ants in Ontario, we can better appreciate the role they play in the environment and better understand their importance to humans.