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Ant Identification

Which Ant is Bugging Me?

A comprehensive guide to common ants in Central Florida

White Footed Ant

Size: 2.5-3 mm long

Color: Black to brownish-black body with yellowish-white feet


  • No bite or sting
  • Forages through kitchens and bathrooms
  • Colony size ranges from 8,000 to 3 million
White footed ant
Tawny crazy ant

Tawny Crazy Ant

Size: <2.4 mm long

Color: reddish-brown body and feet


  • Named for their quick and erratic (crazy) movements
  • They don’t form mounds in the landscape but do tunnel in sandy soil
  • Notorious for huge colonies

Big Headed Ant

Size: Varies, usually about 2 to 3 mm long

Color: Yellowish to reddish-brown


  • Named for their abnormally large heads
  • They are soil nesting ants and often leave piles of loose sandy soil
  • Forage in kitchens, bathrooms, and around windows and doors
  • Difficult to control due to large colonies with populations extending across property lines
Big Headed Ant
Acrobat ant

Acrobat Ant

Size: 2.6 to 3.2 mm long

Color: Shiny bodies that vary in color from light red to brown or black


  • Most distinguishing characteristic is the heart-shaped tail end that is held up over the mid-section when disturbed.

Red Imported Fire Ant

Size: Ranges between 2.4 to 6 mm

Color: Red or brown body with black tail end


  • A stinger is present at the tip of the tail end
  • Mounds built of soil and when disturbed, ants emerge aggressively to sting
Red Imported Fire Ant
Carpenter ant

Florida Carpenter Ant

Size: 5.5 to 10 mm long

Color: Brown to rusty orange body with black tail end


  • They don’t actually eat wood but rather gnaw through it for nesting
  • Nest under loose wood debris and piles of sawdust will often indicate proximity to nesting site
  • Sometimes travel individually and at night making them difficult to find and treat

Ghost Ant

Size: 1.3 to 1.5 mm long

Color: Dark brown body with milky white tail end


  • Often found nesting between baseboards or sometimes in potted plants
  • Prefer sweets and often forage through sugar, cakes, and syrups
  • Move in trails until disturbed when they scatter erratically
Ghost Ant
Pharaoh Ant

Pharaoh Ant

Size: 1.5 to 2 mm long

Color: Yellow or light brown to red body with shiny tail end


  • Nesting occurs in warm and humid areas such as bed linens and piles of trash
  • Sometimes use hot water pipes and wiring to travel

What They Look Like in a Natural Environment

Fire Ants

Fire Ants

Tawny Crazy Ants

Tawny Crazy Ants

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