Common problematic ants found in the Portland area.
There are some years where ant populations in Portland don’t cause many issues. Then, there are others such as this year, where they have become quite a problem. There are many different breeds of ants in the area, and their increase in numbers have not been noticed only by residents. Portland pest control companies have also been reporting on the unusually high number of unwanted ants this year. The types of ants that are normally found in and around the Portland, Oregon area are:
- Odorous House Ants
- Pharaoh Ants
- Concrete Ants
- Harvester Ants
- Thatching Ants
There are a few other species that cause the occasional infestation issue, such as little black ants or citronella ants, but these are less common and less problematic than the the species that are listed above. The following are the most problematic ant species that Portland pest control companies commonly deal with.
Odorous house ants are the most common pest in America:
All Portland pest control companies can agree: Odorous house ants make up the majority of cases regarding ant infestations. These little pests are small, ranging in size from 1/16” to 1/8” in length. They are brownish-black in color, and have a distinctly comical manner of walking with their rears up in the air. Part of why they are deemed odorous is the telltale method of identifying them. Squishing one produces an offensive aroma that is akin to rotten coconut or soured butter. In other words, they can give stink bugs a run for their money when it comes to smelliness. Aside from their unpleasant odor, they are one of the biggest pest concerns in the Portland area due to how hard they are to control. Sometimes called “sugar ants,” these sweet loving insects tend to ignore most baits, even when they are sugar based.
Most mounds are made by harvester and thatching ants:
Petite like odorous ants, harvester and thatching ants only measure 1/4” to 1/2” in length. Both species are red to reddish-brown in appearance, and are often mistaken for fire ants. Luckily though, fire ants do not exist in the colder climate region of Portland. Even though harvester and thatching ants are less common in the Portland area, it is important to remember that they are a breed that can sting. Educated advice from a Portland pest control company regarding levels of interaction with these types of ants is to use your best judgment. If they have built a mound that is not in the way of children or pets, then they should be left alone. They prey on other harmful insects, and in doing so can be a vital part of the local ecosystem.
The pharaoh ant is the worst pest to deal with:
Ant pest control in Portland, Oregon can be a tricky business, especially when it comes to controlling pharaoh ants. The tiny, 2mm long pharaoh ant is a light golden brown color, with a darkly tipped abdomen. Unlike regular colonies, pharaoh ants do not produce flying swarms when they expand to new colonies. They keep the process internal, with mounds growing into large, multiple queen organizations. What makes this an issue is that, when people try to use store bought treatments, they tend to upset the colony into what professionals call “fracturing,” which motivates the ants to split up and produce another colony. This means that a single colony of pharaoh ants can quickly double their numbers exponentially if attempts to exterminate the colony continue to fail. Of any ant pest in the Portland area, pharaoh ants are one that should be handled by the experts.