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Boxelder Bugs


Acrobat Ant      Carpenter Ant     Field Ant      Odorous House Ant

Acrobat Ant (Crematogaster spp.) Acrobat Ant

Key Biology

  • Two nodes

  • Monomorphic

  • 1/10 to 1/6 inch long

  • Uneven thorax

  • 11 segments of antenna

  • 3 segmented club

  • One pair of spines on thorax

  • Color varies from black to red and black

  • The petiole attaches to the top of the abdomen and is shaped like a heart

  • Nest in dead or decaying wood

  • Found in logs, tree stumps and dead limbs, in firewood, and in tree cavities

  • Nest in leaf litter and under stones, and in the styrofoam of floating lounge chairs in swimming pools

  • Found in wall voids and in high moisture areas

  • Found in the siding of homes

Carpenter Ant (Camponotus spp) Carpenter Ant

Key Biology

  • One node, erect and sharp

  • Strong biting jaws

  • Polymorphic

  • 1/8 to 5/8 inch long

  • Evenly rounded thorax

  • 12 segments on antenna

  • Circle of hairs on abdomen

  • Color varies between species; black, black and red, red, yellow

Carpenter Ant


  • Our largest ant. Workers usually of several lengths, with the size of the head varying considerable. Queens are often nearly an inch long. Several species live in the country. Sometimes they bite, but are not capable of stinging.

  • Omnivorous-- sweet, honeydew, dead insects, food scraps

  • Formic acid odor when crushed

  • Moist wood, decaying wood, tree stumps, railroad tiles

  • Landscape wood borders, heavily mulched areas, and firewood

  • Under insulation, wall voids, under or near hot tubs, tree holes, hollow rods, attic eaves

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Field Ant (Formica spp.)

Key Biology

  • One node

  • Monomorphic

  • 3/8 inch long

  • Uneven thorax

  • 12 segments on antenna

  • Circle of hairs on abdomen

  • Brown to dark brown, yellow and reddish

  • Mounds 8-10 inches

  • Lawns, under rocks, patio blocks, landscape timber firewood piles, vacant lots

Odorous House Ant (Tapinoma sessile)

Key Biology

  • One flattened node, flat and hidden by abdomen

  • Monomorphic

  • 1/32 inch, very small ant

  • Uneven thorax

  • 12 segments on antenna

  • No circle of hairs on tip of abdomen

  • Brown to black

  • Workers given off rotten coconut odor when crushed

  • Omnivorous, but prefer sweet foods and honeydew

  • When crushed has a sweetish, nauseating, rotten pineapple or rancid butter scent

  • Sometimes found under foundations, in crevices of walls, often a house pest

  • Under bark of trees, in tree cavities, in bird and animal nests, on patios, porches, under logs, rocks and in mulch and debris

  • On beaches, wooded environments

  • In wall voids, near warm areas in homes like water heaters and pipes

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