Types of Ants in Kansas

Almost 90 to 100 species of ants are present in different cities of Kansas because they can easily thrive in pretty warm summers and mild winters.

Types of ants in Kansas include carpenter ants, little black ants, acrobat ants, fire ants, yellow ants, odorous house ants, harvester ants, field ants, pavement ants, velvet ants, mound ants, spine-waisted ants, and thief ants.

The humidity and temperature level are moderate in Kansas, providing an ideal environment for these tiny creatures to survive as they cannot tolerate extreme conditions.

Ants in Kansas Habitat Appearance
Carpenter ants Wood stumps, tree branches Black, red, brown
Little black ants Piles of lumber and bricks Black
Acrobat ant Firewood, frames, doors Black to brown
Fire ants Leaf litter, muddy areas Copper brown
Yellow ants Agricultural land, tree shade Golden yellow
Odorous house ants Open field, woodlands Brownish black
Harvester ants Sandy soils, tree roots Reddish-brown, Orange-red
Field ants Gardens, lawns, parks Tan, brown, black
Pavement ants Open meadows, sidewalks Brown to black
Velvet ants Clover field, meadows Yellowish orange, red
Mound ants Forests, woodlots Reddish orange
Spine-waisted ants Wet wood, rotting wood Reddish brown
Thief ants Tree cavities, trash Light or dark brown, yellow

Carpenter ants

A few types of carpenter ants are widely spread in different cities of Kansas, like Manhattan, Topeka, Kansas City, and a few other surrounding regions.

You can find reddish-brown American species under wooden logs that can survive in open grasses and low vegetation.

Some reddish and black carpenter ants also belong to this region, in addition to Camponotus nearcticus, which usually live in wooden galleries or tunnels and resemble termites.

Little black ants

You have probably seen small black creatures on dry surfaces that are little black ants with three segmented muscular bodies and six legs to support their foraging walks.

They are tiny insects with almost 2 to 3 mm body length. They possess two antennae and a single node in the abdomen. They are omnivores and feed on insects and plants commonly.

Acrobat ant

They are known for acrobatic moves due to their ability to wave their thorax to threaten their predator. These can raise the thorax over heads to alert enemies about the fighting potential.

Moreover, they are one of the common garden pests that can attack kitchen countertops in search of sweet food because they like to eat sugary foods.

You can see a dorsal stripe on their bodies appearing in orange and dark brown color. These insects can also kill and eat other insects and worms for food, like crickets and spiders.

Fire ants

Red imported fire ants are not commonly found in Kansas, but southern and California fire ants having reddish-brown bodies and blackheads are present throughout the southwest region.

These insects are known to inflict deadly stings on an organism responsible for disturbing their mounds and even lead to their death by multiple stings.

Moreover, they have smaller body lengths and form larger colonies and mounds to adjust thousands of members in one place. These are non-native species that are introduced from other states.

Yellow ants

Acanthomyops claviger or smaller yellow ants are native to Kansas that prefer to eat plant-based food like seeds and grains in addition to the plant parts.

Moreover, the larger yellow species of these insects are also native to this region that form larger colonies. They are usually found close to streams and animals droppings as they get food from them.

Odorous house ants

You can identify odorous house ants by their characteristic odor; their colonies smell like rotten coconut. Their colonies have hundreds to thousands of workers and multiple queens.

These are outdoor pests and are commonly found to invade trees, mulch, firewood, and potted plants, but they can reach indoors when the weather is not favorable for their survival.

In addition, it requires more effort to get removed due to the larger colony size and more queens, as there is always a risk of leaving a few workers and a queen during treatment.

Harvester ants

A large variety of harvester or seed-collecting ants are found to be living in Kansas, like Apache harvester ants, which are herbivorous species and solitary foragers.

Pogonomyrmex Comanche have brownish heads and reddish-brown bodies. Pogonomyrmex occidentalis, or western harvester species, also lives there.

In addition, Maricopa species are present in deserted regions within this state, particularly Mojave and Sonoran deserts. You can differentiate this species by the white or yellowish abdomen.

Another species of rough harvester ants with slender and sharp mandibles are also native to this region, feeds on grasses and seeds, and is present in a few other states like Texas, Florida, etc.

Field ants

They have yellowish bodies extending from 2 to 5 mm and are common nuisance pests within buildings. The cornfield ants are smaller in size ranging between 0.6 to 0.8mm.

However, their colonies are not large and comprise only 1500 to 2500 members, so they are not difficult to remove from the outdoors. They can also reach indoors in search of moisture and food.

Black field ants have black bodies and grayish legs commonly found close to leaf piles and trees as they need nutrition from plants, like seeds and fruits.

Pavement ants

You can identify pavement ants by the presence of grooved lines on their bodies and spines on the thorax region in addition to tiny segmented bodies appearing brown to black.

Commonly, they are seen walking along driveways and sidewalks in Kansas home, as they prefer to remain hidden under pavement concrete.

This species is strong enough to chew the concrete material and make its way through it to reach underground spaces and live there. These insects feed on sweet food items, honeydew, and fruits.

Velvet ants

It is included in the category of dangerous insects that are native to Kansas and range in size between 5 to 9 mm.

These can potentially kill a large animal like a cow by injecting deadly venom into the body. In addition, the female worker ants possess a long stinger that can be injected into the body tissues.

In addition, these look like a wasp due to their bright orange-colored body having broad black strips and a lot of hair.

Mound ants

You can find mound ants in the open grasslands of Kansas, as their nests are usually present on the ground surface. Prairie and Allegheny mound ants are commonly found in this region.

Formica Montana primarily feeds on dead insects and animals as their mandibles help disintegrate the bodies of larger insects and make small pieces that can be easily carried back to mounds.

Moreover, Formica exectoides are spread in the pine forests that can be identified by yellowish thorax. They also prefer to feed on meat and get food from the trash bins.

Spine-waisted ants

It is commonly present throughout North America that can be easily identified by their spiny waists as propodeal spines are present there.

One of my friends living in Johnson County, Kansas, observed these spiny creatures in the backyard as their colonies were growing close to the base of trees.

In addition, its body length is around 4 to 6 mm, with a larger abdomen and thinner thorax. You can identify this species by its characteristic reddish-brown color.

Thief ants

It is named so for its sneaky behavior because it steals food or larvae from other colonies for nutrition. These tiny ants are aggressive and commonly found in rural areas under rocks.

They can kill predators and prey by repeatedly biting and stinging their skin tissues and causing severe injuries. In addition, these insects can harm landscapes by destroying root structures.

In addition, they can become indoor pests if there is rotting wood, as they usually nest within wooden surfaces. For example, they can hide behind baseboards, wall crevices, and cabinets.

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