Red Ants In Ohio
September 02, 2023 - Ants
In Ohio, several species of red ants can be found, each with its own distinct characteristics and behaviors. These ants belong to the Formicidae family, and while they share the general traits of ants, they exhibit variations in size, coloration, nesting habits, and aggressiveness. Here are some of the different kinds of red ants you might encounter in Ohio:
Red Imported Fire Ant (Solenopsis invicta): Originating from South America, red imported fire ants are an invasive species that have been reported in Ohio. They are known for their aggressive nature and painful stings. They build mound-shaped nests in soil, and their reddish-brown appearance makes them easily recognizable.
European Fire Ant (Myrmica rubra): European fire ants are relatively small and are often reddish-brown in color. They are not as aggressive as red imported fire ants but can deliver a painful sting if provoked. They typically build their nests in moist areas, such as gardens or near bodies of water.
Eastern Thatching Ant (Formica exsectoides): Eastern thatching ants are larger ants that are reddish-brown to dark brown in color. They are known for their impressive thatch-covered nests, which can be found in wooded areas. These ants are not typically aggressive towards humans.
Velvet Ant (Mutillidae family): Velvet ants, despite their name, are not true ants but rather wingless wasps. They are often brightly colored, with some species exhibiting shades of red. Velvet ants are solitary and are known for their extremely painful stings. They are rarely seen due to their secretive habits.
Red Harvester Ant (Pogonomyrmex barbatus): Although not as common in Ohio as in more arid regions, red harvester ants can still be found. They are large, reddish-brown ants known for their role in seed collection. They construct deep nests and are generally not aggressive towards humans.
Common House Ant (Tetramorium caespitum): Common house ants, while not exclusively red, can have reddish-brown coloration. These ants are often encountered in homes and buildings, foraging for food. They are not aggressive and can coexist with humans.
Bicolored Trailing Ant (Monomorium bicolor): Bicolored trailing ants are small ants with reddish-brown to dark brown coloration. They are known for their distinctive trailing behavior and are often seen foraging in long lines. These ants are not typically aggressive towards humans.
Red Acrobat Ant (Crematogaster lineolata): Red acrobat ants are small to medium-sized ants with a reddish-brown to dark brown coloration. They get their name from their unique ability to hold their abdomen over their head and thorax when disturbed, resembling an acrobat's pose. They are generally not aggressive and can be found nesting in wood or debris.
Allegheny Mound Ant (Formica exsectoides): While primarily known for their thatching behavior, some colonies of Allegheny mound ants may exhibit reddish-brown coloration. These ants construct large mound-shaped nests in wooded areas and are not typically aggressive towards humans.
Red-Headed Wood Ant (Formica rufa): The red-headed wood ant is a larger ant species with reddish-brown to dark brown coloration. They are commonly found in forested regions of Ohio and are known for their aggressive defense of their nests. While their name suggests a red head, their bodies are typically darker.
The coloration of ants can vary within species due to factors like age, diet, and environmental conditions. Additionally, some species may have regional color variations. When identifying ants, it's best to consider multiple characteristics, such as size, nesting habits, and behavior, in addition to color, to accurately determine the species. The classification and presence of these ants in Ohio may vary by region and over time due to environmental factors and human activity. When dealing with ants, especially invasive species like red imported fire ants, it's advisable to seek professional pest control services if infestations become a concern, as some species can pose health risks or damage property.
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