Ants can enter your home through the tiniest of cracks. They are usually looking for food and water. Keeping your house clean will deter ants for the most part, but on a good hot day they can be formidable. Scouts locate food sources and leave a pheromone trail for the others to follow. If you look closely you can see the line the ants make because of this chemical scent trail. Nests can form anywhere in and around your house, lawns, walls stumps and under foundations. Colonies can number well into the hundreds of thousands.
Other extremes like cold, rain, or when it is very dry can also force ants to take cover in your home.
There are many thousands of different species of ants world wide, but the most common types of ants you might find in your home are the carpenter ant, odorous ants and pavement ants. Ants are a social insects and a colony would contain a queen or a few, workers and foragers. It is important to eliminate the queen to kill the colony. It becomes more difficult if there is more than one queen.
A big concern with home owners is the Carpenter ant. These types of ants can do structural damage. Unlike termites, carpenter ants don’t actually eat wood, but they excavate wood for the purpose of making nesting sites and trails. They have a colony structure with a parent site usually outside the structure and satellite nests located within the structure.
Odorous ants have more than one queen which makes them difficult to control. These ants often make temporary nests under pieces of wood or landscaping debris. They find there way into your home by way of vegetation that contacts the structure. Plants or tree branches touching your house make a bridge for them to march on. They do not do any structural damage. They are just a nuicense.
Pavement ants also have more than one queen, but unlike odorous ants they nest under rocks and pavement. These do have a stinger however they only sting if threatened like if you were rolling around on a lawn and a bear arm or leg were to roll on top of them. Like other types of ants they forage for food and water in nearby structures.