Physical Characteristics / Threat Level
Ants are characterized by the narrow connection (the pedicel) between the thorax and abdomen of their bodies. Elbowed antennae also distinguish ants from other insect species. Four species of ants are common in Pennsylvania including pavement ants, black carpenter ants, larger yellow ants, and thief ants. The most common household ant is the pavement ant that has a blackish brown body and grows to 1/10" long. Ants are not considered dangerous to humans and most pose no property threats, except for carpenter ants.
Where They Live
All ant species are social and live in colonies made up of a queen, worker ants, and males. The colony lives in an ant hill or nest, usually outdoors. The colony can adjust to seasonal changes in temperature and humidity by moving up or down in the ant hill or nest. In warm climates or when colonies are established indoors, ant colonies may be constantly active.
What They Eat
Ants commonly feed on seeds, plant sap, honeydew, table crumbs, grease, meats, and dead insects.