What is it?

Many kinds of ants can be found in the area.

Ants most regularly encountered are native field ants (Formica species) nesting under sidewalks or creating mounds in lawns. If your house is not well sealed, workers can wander in foraging for food, but they seldom do any real damage.

The Pharaoh ant (Monomorium pharaonis) and other exotic species of ants such as fire ants, argentine ants, crazy ants and thief ants, will nest in apartments and other buildings, where they are potential pests year-round.

These exotic species, usually imported with plant material, will feed on many household foods such as meats, grease, sweets, fruits, vegetables and liquids.

The most damaging ants in Edmonton are native carpenter ants (Camponotus species) which can excavate their galleries in wood. Like termites, these insects can cause serious structural damage if left unchecked.  There are no termites in Edmonton.

Several other ant species collectively known as "moisture ants" have also been found associated with rotting wood in buildings. One of these ants (Lasius pallitarsis) is sometimes recovered from Edmonton homes that have experienced water damage.

Before attempting to control an ant problem, it is best to have the wingless worker ants identified.

Bring your insect sample to the River Valley, Forestry and Environmental Services office at 12304 107 Street. Identification services for ants or any other insects are available from 7:30am to 4pm, Monday through Friday.

What's the problem?

Although most ants around Edmonton are at worst a nuisance, some species can become serious pests in the house, even causing structural damage.