On the hunt for food and water, ants can be a real nuisance in the home. From red and black ants in South Carolina, to even more pesky fellows like carpenter ants, it is important to remain vigilant to the ants commonly found here. Especially since in South Carolina there are several different types of ants you can find in the home that can require the help of an ant exterminator to get them under control.

There are many things you can do to prevent ants from coming into your home. By being on the lookout and knowing how to spot the difference between different ant species, you can keep your home safe and devise a plan to send ants packing. And when you find yourself in need of pest control for ants, you know that the experts at Terminix always have your back.

How to Identify Ants in South Carolina 

The first step in performing any extermination for ants is knowing the enemy. It’s essential to know exactly which type of ant you’re dealing with when deciding on the proper treatment. This can also give you critical information about possible damage to your property. 

What do ants look like?

While ants come in all different colors and sizes, all types of ants have three main body parts: the head, thorax and gaster (abdomen). Unlike other insects who have the same main body parts, ants have connecting segments in between the thorax and gaster called nodes.

Do ants have stingers?

The good news is that most ants do not sting or cause physical harm. That’s a relief! However some ants that live in South Carolina, like the red imported fire ant, can sting and cause severe reactions, particularly in those with allergies. Therefore, if you suspect you have these ants in your home, you’ll want to call professionals right away.

Formosan Subterranean

Just recently, the Formosan subterranean termite was found in the Columbia area. This highly destructive species is established in the low country region of the state, but is now moving further inland. Formosan termite colonies are much larger than the native Eastern subterranean termites colonies, which means they can do much more damage in a shorter amount of time. Even though their colonies are much larger, they are controlled with the same methods as our native species. These termites swarm from April to July in the evenings. They are yellowish-brown with wings that are wrapped in tiny hairs.

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Types of Ants in South Carolina

Out of the over 700 types of ant species living in the U.S. alone, there are four common species of red and black ants in South Carolina: odorous house ants, pavement ants, carpenter ants and red imported fire ants. 

Odorous House Ants

This type of ant is one of the most commonly found ant species in South Carolina. Even though they’re called “house ants,” you still don’t want these pests in your house. In fact, they typically live outside in mulch, tree bark, potted plants and inside lumber or firewood. The “odorous” part of their name comes from the smell they give off when squished, which can smell like rotten coconut. 

These are small blackish-brown ants that typically have more than one nest in a colony, which they travel back and forth to. With so many nests, these ants are tricky to eliminate. 

You want to get professional help with extermination for ants when you think you’re dealing with this type because they have so many different nests, so it’s tricky to know whether you’ve truly eradicated the whole colony. If you want to remove a whole colony for you, it’s best to call in the professionals.

Pavement Ants

Similar to odorous house ants, pavement ants are small and dark brown to black in color. This kind, however, also has grooved parallel lines on the head and thorax. The thorax also typically has small spikes. Yikes! 

They will invade your home through cracks, especially those under your home’s foundation or through dirt basements. You’ll typically find their nests in cracks in the driveway or sidewalks, giving them their name. 

Carpenter Ants

These little pests can be some of the worst to have in and around your property and require a dedicated, professional approach. These ants prefer to nest in moist wood, which means they can be found in homes with leakage issues or foundations exposed to the elements. 

Unlike termites, carpenter ants don’t actually eat wood, but they can cause havoc in wood parts of your home by creating tunnels and nesting sites. This leads to very expensive repairs to damage. The most common species of these ants are black with yellow hairs on their abdomen. You’ll commonly find them near chimneys, skylights, dishwashers, bathtubs and showers, eaves and porch supports – all places that can accumulate moisture. 

Red Imported Fire Ants

Red ants are the ones that sting! Easily identifiable by their red and black color, red imported fire ants first appeared in the United States in 1940 when they were brought from Brazil to Mobile, Alabama. These ants commonly build nests in outdoor mounds. 

Because they can cause allergies and health problems to people if stung, you absolutely want to eliminate them from your home if you spot some. Every year people spend billions of dollars on fire ant control. Terminix experts can perform a treatment on your home twice a season to keep fire ants from becoming a problem.

How to Prevent Ants in South Carolina

Prevention is one of the best forms of ant control. By simply identifying problem areas and eliminating them, you save yourself hassle and money. You can help prevent an ant infestation by learning the ways ants might find a way into your home and then by following these prevention tactics.

  • It’s important to regularly clean your home, by washing dishes, keeping your kitchen table and kitchen counters clear, wiping down surfaces with food, mopping and vacuuming regularly.
  • If you have piles of wood on your property, keep them as far from your home as possible.
  • When doing landscaping, make sure you trim tree branches and shrubs back away from your home to prevent access to ants.
  • Keep any yard sprinklers aimed away from your home, especially the foundation.
  • Inspect the perimeter of your home and seal any cracks you see.
  • All food in your pantry or cupboards, including pet food, should be stored in airtight containers.
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How to Get Rid of Ants in South Carolina

When making a plan to control ants, the first step is to determine the species you’re dealing with. This will help you to find their nests, evaluate possible damage and make a plan to remove them. Pest control for ants should oftentimes be left to the professionals, and they can certainly help you determine a swift course of action. 

An issue that arises when dealing with ants, however, is that they typically come back, so ongoing treatment might be necessary. Terminix technicians are experts in pest control for ants and will be ready to determine the level of ant control you need in your home and put together a plan. 

Terminix Can Help With Ant Control

Sometimes even when you’ve been vigilant, ants can find their way into your home. If you find you need the help of a pest professional, call a Terminix technician to remove ants from your home. Our diligence and expertise helps us identify the species of ants you’re dealing with, locate where they are getting into the home and fix the problem; we also develop a long-term treatment plan.

Learn more about pest control for ants in South Carolina →