Argentine ant colonies can grow to monumental size. A single colony can contain several hundred thousand workers with the colony borders sometimes cover entire habitats. These dark brown to black ants give off a musty odor when crushed.
Carpenter ants get their name because they excavate wood in order to build their nests. Their excavation results in smooth tunnels inside the wood. These are large ants ranging in size from one-quarter inch for a worker ant to up to three-quarters inch for a queen.
Crazy ants get their common name from the workers’ habit of running in an erratic, jerky manner when searching for food.
Leafcutting ants get their name from their habit of cutting leaves into small pieces. There are only two species in the United States, which are found in Arizona, Texas, western Louisiana and southern California. Mature nests of leafcutting ants may contain in excess of one million individuals, but only one queen who is long-lived. Some very old colonies may occupy the same area for 60-70 years.
Pharaoh ants get their name from the mistaken belief that they were one of the plagues of Egypt during the time of Pharaohs. This species is thought to be native to Africa, but is currently found throughout the Unites States.
Red imported fire ants (RIFAs, for short) get their common name from their ability to inflict painful bites and stings. These dark reddish-brown ants are an invasive species found throughout the southern part of the U.S.