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Ants in the house on the baseboards and wall angle

Types of Ants Found in Knoxville, TN

Ants – they’re creepy, they’re crawly and you really don’t want them swarming all over your home. It’s estimated that for every person on Earth, there are 1.6 million ants! Antarctica, Greenland, Iceland and various islands are the only parts of the planet where ants aren’t found. Given this information, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that pretty much every person in the USA lives in close proximity to ants.

The Knoxville area is home to several different species of ants, which may build nests on your property and infest your home. Keep reading to learn how you can tell these ants apart and what kinds of trouble they might cause you.


Common Ant Species in Greater Knoxville

  • Odorous House Ants – Among the most common ant species in Tennessee, odorous house ants are about ⅛” long and black or brown in color. These ants are relatively harmless but it can still be annoying and unsanitary to have them swarm through your house, which may happen if they find a reliable source of food within. “Odorous” house ants are named because they give off a distinctive rotten odor if crushed.
  • Crazy Ants – Another common ant species, crazy ants are around the same size and color as odorous house ants, though their legs and antennae are much longer. While their name may sound scary, these ants are also fairly harmless. They’re known as “crazy” ants because of their erratic movements.
  • Argentine Ants – Brown in color and about ⅛” long, Argentine ants are native to South America but have invaded countries all over the world, including the United States. Argentine ants form massive supercolonies that may spread over thousands of miles and they commonly invade homes in search of food. Because each colony has numerous queens, controlling an infestation can prove difficult.
  • Little Black Ants – Sometimes known as “sugar ants”, these tiny pests have a serious sweet tooth and often invade houses to raid food cabinets, kitchen sinks and trash cans. Little black ants are only 1-2mm long and tend to appear in large numbers, making them a real nuisance.
  • Pharaoh Ants – One of the most problematic ants in Greater Knoxville, pharaoh ants are about 2mm long and yellowish brown in color. These pests have such a notorious reputation that their name comes from the mistaken belief that they were one of the ten plagues of Egypt! Unlike most ant species, pharaoh ants tend to nest inside of buildings and infestations can quickly grow out of control. They are known to spread many types of harmful bacteria, which is why they are particularly despised by hospitals.
  • Fire Ants – Invasive in the United States, fire ants are one species of pest that you don’t want to mess with. ⅛” to ¼” in size and red in color, fire ants are a territorial species that will swarm and attack any perceived threat with venomous stings. These painful stings cause a burning sensation, hence the name “fire ants.” Some people are allergic to these stings and may need to be hospitalized if attacked.
  • Carpenter Ants – The largest native ant species, carpenter ants are black and about ½” long. As their name suggests, carpenter ants are tenacious woodworkers who traditionally hollow out dead trees to create their nests. However, carpenter ants may decide to settle inside the wooden walls and structures of homes in Knoxville, making them one of the most destructive pest species. Carpenter ants don’t actually eat wood but will hollow it out as they build their galleries, which can compromise the integrity of a house over time.


The Best Ant Control in Knoxville

While some species of ants can cause more trouble than others, none of them should be allowed to infest your home. Call Critter Wranglers today for professional ant control services in the Knoxville area!