Types of Ants in Oregon

Here in Oregon, you can find a huge variety of ant species. Most do not pose any sort of threat or nuisance, but the two most common types that people have problems with are Carpenter Ants and Odorous House Ants (OHA).

Small Ants can be quite a nuisance and there are several species (even some species of small carpenter ants) that live in Oregon, the most common one is the Odorous House Ant (OHA), also known as sugar ants, small ants, or grease ants. Its name comes from the smell it gives off when crushed. Because they have very large colonies, with multiple queens, that nest in soil or structures and move their colony every 17 to 23 days. OHA typically enters buildings look for resources, most commonly food.

These ants do not cause any structural damage, but they can be quite the nuisance and are one of the most prolific pests we have in Oregon. When they invade kitchen areas, they tend to contaminate food products and food prep surfaces. We often see these unwanted pests showing up in bathrooms, living rooms, and even bedrooms searching for resources!

How do I get rid of Sugar Ants?

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What do Carpenter Ants look like?

Carpenter Ants are the most common Wood Destroying Organism that we have in Oregon. They are easily recognizable, varying in size from 1/8″ to 1/2″ and black to red and black in color. Several species of Carpenter Ants live in Oregon each species, if left unattended will cause damage. Carpenter ants do not eat wood like a termite but will mine wood and other building materials for a nest.

What are the signs of a Carpenter Ant infestation?
  • Individual carpenter ants are seen within the living space, especially during the first part of the year (January-April)
  • A line of workers trafficking on the exterior of your building
  • Accumulation of sawdust-like debris
  • Sound, sometimes you can actually hear them in the walls removing wood
  • The presence of swarmers, the winged reproductive stage. It is completely normal to see these on the exterior during certain seasons but seeing a large number inside or coming from your home is a red flag of a possible infestation.
How do I treat for Carpenter Ants?
  • Physical removal of the nest. If a nest is discovered during a construction project or is easily accessible, physical removal of the ants themselves and the damaged wood is sometimes the best option.
  • Remove Conducive Conditions. Sometimes, Carpenter Ants are there for a reason. If the nesting area is damaged by moisture, then that issue also needs to be addressed for future prevention.
  • Material application. This step is best left to professionals. Treatment procedures will vary by company and ongoing service
If you have seen or think you have Carpenter Ants in your home or place of business, we can help. Carpenter Ant infestations are best handled by a professional and Good Earth Pest Company can effectively eliminate Carpenter Ants without placing any materials in your living space or defacing the outside of your structure.

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Both Carpenter Ants and Odorous House Ants are covered under our Standard Insect Program


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