Exploring Maryland’s Ants: A Guide to Identifying Different Types of Ants

Types of Ants in Maryland

Maryland, located in the eastern United States, is home to a diverse range of ant species. These ants can be found in various habitats, including forests, grasslands, and residential areas. Here are some common types of ants found in Maryland:

1. Carpenter Ants (Camponotus spp.)

Carpenter ants are large ants that vary in color from black to reddish-brown. They are known for excavating galleries in wood, including tree stumps, logs, and structures. While they do not consume wood like termites, carpenter ants can cause structural damage if left untreated.

2. Pavement Ants (Tetramorium caespitum)

Pavement ants are small brown to black ants commonly found in urban areas. They build nests in pavement cracks, under sidewalks, and along foundations. Pavement ants are opportunistic feeders and are attracted to a variety of food sources, including sugary and greasy foods.

3. Odorous House Ants (Tapinoma sessile)

Odorous house ants are small ants that range in color from dark brown to black. They emit a strong, unpleasant odor when crushed, often described as a “rotten coconut” smell. These ants are commonly found in homes, particularly in kitchens and bathrooms, where they forage for food.

4. Red Imported Fire Ants (Solenopsis invicta)

Red imported fire ants are medium-sized ants that are reddish-brown in color. They build large mound nests and are known for their aggressive behavior. Fire ant stings can be painful and may cause allergic reactions in some individuals.

5. Acrobat Ants (Crematogaster spp.)

Acrobat ants are medium-sized ants that vary in color from light brown to dark brown or black. They are named for their ability to raise their abdomen over their thorax and head when disturbed. Acrobat ants typically nest in tree cavities, logs, and occasionally in structures.

These are just a few examples of the ant species found in Maryland. Ants play important ecological roles, but they can become household pests if their populations become large or they infest structures. If ant infestations become problematic, it is advisable to consult with a professional pest control service for effective management strategies.