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Off-topic ant questions

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  1. Finn

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Aug 24 2013 15:54:21
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    What is the protocol on this forum for topics other than bed bugs? I would like to ask some questions that relate to ants found in my house, but I know the focus here is bed bugs (and I'm sure these ants are ants, so there's no confusion about that part).

    Would anyone be able to recommend another forum like this on the internet for general house bug IDs and ant questions? I did some internet searching, but I found nothing comparable to this forum with its superb qualities: knowledgeable contributors, Photo IDs, clear and useful explanations for combatting bug problems, high activity.

    I would appreciate any advice!

  2. rs1971

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Aug 24 2013 16:02:10
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    I say go for it. The worst thing that can happen is that nobugs deletes your post. Nothing ventured, nothing gained! Don't be surprised though, if it doesn't get much attention. Of the four or five professionals who contribute to the board, I think that all of them do bed bug work exclusively.

  3. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Aug 24 2013 17:06:15
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    Hi Finn,
    I would go ahead and ask in this thread. As rs1971 said, most of the pros here focus on bed bugs. However, some have a more general background.

    I won't delete the thread so try your luck!

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  4. Finn

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Aug 24 2013 18:00:19
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    Ok, it's worth a chance. Can anyone identify these ants? I'm especially afraid they might be carpenter ants or fire ants. In these photos, there are two different types, a large type and a small type, but both found along the wall in the same room. Are they the same species?

    Here you can see them side by side (one large, two small, each a little dusty).

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/82178752@N02/9584248223/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/82178752@N02/9584241975/

    Now here's a close up of a smaller one.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/82178752@N02/9587034830/in/photostream/

    And here's a close up of the larger one

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/82178752@N02/9587036748/in/photostream/

    Thanks: I would really appreciate any advice on this problem in my house!

  5. BBNewbie

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Aug 24 2013 18:26:07
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    I had a problem with carpenter ants in my garage rafters. I'm no expert, but that looks just like a carpenter ant. I used sprays and gels to get rid of them. They are one of the easier pests to get rid of in my opinion. And when I had my garage treated for termites a few years after (Yeah, I've had alot of bug problems) they also treated for the ants again.

    I hate bugs....when they try to live in my home.

    S

  6. Finn

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Aug 24 2013 19:03:22
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    BBNewbie,

    Thanks for the reply! To clarify, you're referring to the large one, not the small one, right?

    Anyone have an idea of what the small one is?

  7. P Bello

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Aug 24 2013 20:37:29
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    Dear finn,

    For ID purposes ants are divided into two groups; those with a single node and those with a double(two) node pedicel.

    The larger black ant may be a carpenter ant. Carpenter ants tunnel/hollow out and nest in wood but do not eat the wood. Some identifying features of carpenter ants are:

    > The thorax (this is the body segment/region behind the head and the one that the legs are attached to) when viewed from the side is evenly rounded smooth along it's top edge.

    > There is also a small circlet of hairs around the anus which requires magnification to see.

    > Carpenter ants are polymorphic which means that there will be ants of different sizes living within the same colony.

    > You cannot go by color alone for carpenter ants as there are some species where the color varies.

    > Camponotus pennsylvanicus (sp?) is a large black carpenter ant which is found in many states.

    The smaller ants may be fire ants but the photos do not show me what I need to see to determine.

    > Fire ants are also polymorphic.

    > Look at these ant's pedicel, this is the body part between the thorax and the abdomen. Folks refer to this as the constricted "waist" of the ant.

    > If they are fire ants there will be two nodes which make up the pedicel. This means that there will be two "bead like" segments to the pedicel.

    > There are native fire ants as well as RIFA (red imported fire ant) which came to the US from South America.

    > Fire ants are found across the Southeast and are also found in CA.

    > Recently a woman in Atlanta died from a single RIFA sting, likely due to being highly allergic to hymenoptera venom which led to anaphylactic (sp?) shock. RIFA have killed nearly 100 people in the US since their introduction. Many seek medical care each year and due to their venomous stings FA can be dangerous pests.

    > As social insects, ants are not resistant and succumb to insecticides rather quickly.

    Hope this helps ! paul b.

  8. KillerQueen

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Aug 24 2013 21:49:16
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    Really need much better pictures for a positive ID.

    The larger black ant does in fact look like a Carpenter Ant from what I can see.

    The smaller ant looks like it could be an Acrobat Ant. Again, would need more magnification and better views of the sample to be 100% sure.

  9. Finn

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sun Aug 25 2013 1:06:38
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    Paul B and Killer Queen,

    Thanks so much for these replies, and please accept my apologies about the mediocre photos. I must say, even with my magnifying glass, I find visibility of the signs a challenge, but it seems that the smaller one is not a fire ant and is rather, as suggested, an acrobat ant. Thanks again so much, and what a great resource this website has been for me!

  10. P Bello

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sun Aug 25 2013 8:19:47
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    Dear finn,

    Acrobat ants can be determined as follows:

    > You will need some live ants.

    > Mess with them, you know poke 'em and stuff, and Acrobat ants will hold their heart shaped gastor/abdomen vertical.

    > These guys, actually all the worker ants you see are females for all ant species as we males only serve one function in the ant world, usually nest outdoors and should not be much of a problem indoors.

    Hope this helps ! paul b.


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