Ants are common in Tulsa, OK, but with more than 10,000 species, it can be difficult to know which one you’re dealing with. Some ants are predatory and feed on termites. Red fire ants, while rare in Tulsa, bite. Ants can kill good bugs, contaminate food and damage walls in your home. Ants come into the home looking for food and water sources, especially when the temperatures dry up the ground water.

If you’re seeing ants in your home, you’ll probably need to treat the nest to fully eradicate them. When you have an expert identify the type, you’ll be able to treat them accordingly. Here are 5 types of common ants seen in Tulsa and the surrounding communities.

We’ll take a look at the following ants:

Pavement Ants

Pavement ants are the ones you generally find outside in the pavement. They don’t usually get bigger than about ¼-inch long and are light brown to black. The appendages will probably be lighter in color than the body. Typically, these ants are docile, but they do have the ability to sting if provoked. They live underground but will also nest under mulch, floors or insulation.

Odorous House Ants

Odorous house ants can get up to 3/16-inch long. They range in color from dark brown to black. The most common method of identifying these ants is by the smell they emit when crushed. You will smell rotten coconut. These pests are a problem in homes. They bite, but because they are so small, little to no pain is generally felt. Over-the-counter insecticides scatter the pests and create more nests and problems.

Pharaoh Ants

Pharaoh ants are typically golden in color with red and black markings on their body. They are typically under 1/8-inch long, but they love to build nests in pantries where they can find sugary foods. Because they are so tiny, they can sneak through even the smallest crack in the seal of a window or door. These ants spread dysentery and salmonellae. They are difficult to control once in your home. A professional pest management technician will be able to design a program for your home.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants can range from ½-inch to 1-inch long. There are 24 different types of carpenter ants just in the United States. The most common species are dark in color, but they can be yellow, red and black. These types of ants bite and will cause pain. Carpenter ants and termites are often mistaken for each other. They like to nest in wood. Professional pest management is probably the safest bet for extermination.

Field Ants

Field ants, or Formica ants, are generally found in lawns and open areas. When mounds are built close to the foundation of a home, the ants can get inside looking for food. The ants are often mistaken for carpenter ants, because they are larger in size, ½-inch and up. They will bite if the mound is disturbed. The queen lives deep underground. Removing her will destroy the colony, but it can be difficult. Professional pest control can help you find a solution.