How many species of ants live in New York City? Types Of Ants In New York City

How many species of ants live in New York City? Types Of Ants In New York City

Are you restless? A few (or two) distinct species of ants live in Upstate New York, and while not all of these small pests are much more than a very minor annoyance, some can actually cause considerable damage. What you should know about the many ant species in New York is provided here.

Let's clear the air and provide answers to a few often asked questions regarding ants before we go into the complete list of common ant types.

Ants live for how long?

There are certain general guidelines that apply to the majority of ant species, even if an ant's lifespan varies depending on factors including species and caste:

Male ants often only live for a few days before passing away, having the shortest longevity of any caste member.

Worker ants, which are the non-reproductive females, do most of the actual work in the colony and will live between a few weeks and a few months.

Queen ants are the most long-lived in any ant colony, with the ability to live for years.

What do ants eat?

Ants eat...pretty much everything and anything. Typically the ant diet consists of aphid milk, dead insects and insect eggs, plant sap, and most fruits. In human homes, ants will eat pretty much anything, from sweets to meats and fats. Basically whatever your diet, ants will find something to get their hands on.

How much can an ant lift?

Ok, this one isn’t really all that important when it comes to human-ant relations (fraught at best, by the way), but are ants really as strong as people say they are? The truth is: yes! Ants are super strong -- able to lift anywhere from 10 to 50 times their body weight. Luckily, ants only weigh between 1mg and 5mg, which means humans are safe from an ant’s incredible strength. Lucky us.

How many species of ants live in New York City?

Now that we’ve gotten some of those questions out of the way, let’s talk a bit about the different types of ants that are frequently found in New York. At least there are about 42 species of ants wandering around the houses of the people in New York City. Lets look at some of them here:

1. Odorous House Ants

  • Particularly attracted to sweets, specifically honeydew.
  • Nest near moist areas like near pipes and hot water heaters, or under stacks of wood.
  • 1/16 to ⅛ of an inch long.
  • Brown or black in color.
  • Give off a rotten smell when crushed -- hence the name.
  • Not dangerous, but can contaminate food.

2. Pharaoh Ants

  • 1.5mm-2 mm long
  • Usually a pale, yellowish-red color
  • Tend to nest in wall voids
  • Colonies can be as large as hundreds of thousands of ants
  • Feed on sweets, oils, and proteins
  • Have been noted for spreading over a dozen disease pathogens, including salmonella.

3. Thief Ant

  • 1.5mm-2.2mm long
  • Pale yellow or light/dark brown in color
  • Leave trails of food from food sources to nests
  • Colonies number in the thousands
  • Can carry pathogens picked up from feeding on dead mice and rodents, which can be spread to food

4. Pavement Ants

  • Pavement ants fighting
  • ⅛ of an inch long
  • Black or brown in color
  • Eat everything from seeds and fruits to cheese and meats
  • Nest in walls, insulation, and under floors
  • Outside are known for nesting in sidewalk and pavement cracks -- hence their name
  • Can contaminate food, but are not a pathogen-spreading threat like other ants

5. Allegheny Mound Ants

  • ⅛ of an inch long
  • Construct mounds roughly 3 feet in diameter
  • Red heads with a black-colored thorax
  • Rarely enter homes, but can be an eyesore in yards

6. Carpenter Ants

  • Close-up of a carpenter ant, which is larger than average for ants and is either black, red, or a mix of the two colors.
  • even though they pose no severe health hazard, they can nonetheless result in painful bites.
  • Nests typically grow in rotten, moist wood.
  • can result in long-term damage to structural timber

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