Common Maine Ant Species
Common ant species found in Maine come in a variety of colors and sizes. Like many insects, ants may be beneficial to the environment, but they can also become a nuisance to residents and properties. This is just a part of their ever existent day-to-day survival. Common Maine ants can be found in and around man-made structures like houses, buildings and offices, as well as within local habitats such as lawns, rocks, trees and bushes. Keeping this in mind, understanding how the variety of common ant species work in Maine will serve invaluable to the protection of your property.
Allegheny Mounted Ants
Allegheny mounted ants are considered beneficial insects because they are rancorous arthropod hunters. These ants are mainly found outdoors and can be seen creating a four-foot mound or digging three feet into the ground.
Nonetheless, indoor infestation is a possibility with Allegheny mounted ants and it should be treated immediately.
Carpenter ants are the largest of the Maine ant species and come in two varieties: black carpenter ants and red carpenter ants. Black carpenter ants are the more common of the two in Maine and can become problematic, especially if signs of infestation are ignored.
Even though carpenter ants play a positive role in the environment, such as returning dead wood to the soil, man-made structures are not exempt from invasions, which can become costly. The reason being, unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat sound wood. Instead, they chew out sawdust-like pieces, creating a nest to live in and raise their young.
Consequently, these ants will then leave their nest inside the structure while they search for food, especially if there is a kitchen nearby, and expand their nest size. However, the biggest issue is the effect their excavation has on the structure of a property, which can become expensive to repair.
Cornfield ants are usually found outdoors forming small craters in the soil, especially in lawns. Additionally, Cornfield ants nest in soil under stones, bricks, sidewalks and other concealed sites, as well as rotting logs and stumps.
Even though Cornfield ants rarely nest in homes, they are sometimes found feeding on honeydew from insects infesting houseplants, which can create an indoor nesting problem.
European Red Ants
European red ants, also known as European fire ants, are closely related to the “true” fire ants in the Southern U.S. and Latin America. They are the most invasive ant species found in Maine, especially in many communities along the Maine coast. These ants have taken advantage of the local habitat, including lawns, old fields, shrubs and the deciduous Maine forest.
Because European red ants aggressively defend their territory, they can become a nuisance to people and the environment. These ants readily sting humans, pets and livestock that move slowly or rest on their territory. Once they have established a nest, most property owners find it hard to use their land because of the constant stinging. Even though these ants do not nest indoors or create large soil mounds, it is important to identify the nesting area to avoid serious infestation.
Larger Yellow Ants
Larger yellow ants, sometimes confused with pavement ants, are quite common in Maine, especially in the fall. Larger yellow ants tend to colonize near a structure foundation because they are soil nesting ants. This area is appealing to Larger yellow ants because of the moisture it provides for the nest. Larger yellow ants are commonly seen in Maine when the offspring flock in homes.
Overall, all of the common ant species found in Maine should be considered when signs of infestation are present. Those posing the biggest threat, such as the European fire ant and the carpenter ant species, should be contained immediately by a professional like Ants Etc. Pest Service. If any infestation occurs on a man-made structure or in a local habitat in Windham or Portland, Maine, contact Ants Etc. immediately at (207) 892-7855.