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Types of Ants in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana

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The Gulf Coast is home to more than 100 ant species, including over one dozen that pose serious threats. In Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana, ants are responsible for structural damage, venomous stings and health problems. Ants are difficult to eradicate without professional assistance due to their extreme numbers, territorial nature and use of pheromone trails. Here are a few of the most common ants along the Gulf Coast.

Carpenter Ants

Moisture and decaying wood attract these structural pests. The Florida carpenter ant is common as far west as Mississippi. One colony can contain 8,000 workers. Parent colonies and satellite communities must be treated to eradicate carpenter ants. Because they are attracted to moisture, it's imperative to repair leaks and replace decaying wood to prevent future infestations.

Argentine Ants

Since the 1800s, these non-native ants have called Louisiana home. According to experts, these invasive pests arrived in coffee shipments and have spread across much of the country due to their aggressive colonization strategies. Argentine ants build massive colonies that are difficult to eradicate because new individuals repopulate vacant areas quickly.

Fire Ants

These pests infest agricultural fields, urban areas and rural environments across the southern United States. Mounds of loose soil without central openings are a telltale sign of fire ants. When disturbed, large numbers mobilize and inject their victims with venom that creates a strong burning sensation. After several hours, the venom forms a pustule that itches and stings. Fire ants are particularly dangerous for children and pets. These ants respond well to baits and insecticides. However, a few individuals can start a new colony.
 
Ants are extremely invasive pests that are capable of disabling electronics and industrial equipment. Because ants are so tenacious and build colonies in inaccessible areas, professional extermination is the best treatment option.
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