Of the 200 estimated species of ants in South Carolina, most are beneficial or at least benign. There are only a handful of ant species that should be considered for pest control like fire ants or Argentine ants. Here are two groups of ants that are helpful, not harmful, in South Carolina:
Pyramid ants make small, volcano-like mounds with a single opening at the top, similar to fire ants. Often they are confused with fire ants mounds, especially because they live near fire ants. But instead of attacking and biting you like fire ants, pyramid ants actually attack fire ants and can keep the fire ant population down in your yard. Let’s hear it for the pyramid ants!
Although these colorful insects may appear to be ants, their name is misleading as they are actually wasps. The males have wings and are usually not spotted by people. The females are wingless and appear more like ants as they scurry along the group instead of flying. Both males and females have a furry, dense covering that gives them the name “velvet ants”. They are also known colloquially as “cow ants” or “cow killers”, although there is no recorded instance of them killing a cow.
Velvet ants are more abundant in the Southwest than the Southeast but we do have 6 different types of velvet ants here in South Carolina. The most commonly seen are red and black but they can also be black with yellow or orange. The winged males are harmless but the females can leave a nasty sting and should be avoided. The sting is rarely dangerous, just painful. They may also produce a squeaking sound when disturbed. Velvet ants are seen usually outdoors, in sandy areas, during the cooler daylight hours like late afternoon between the months of May through September. They should never be picked up by hand, or stepped on with bare feet.
Velvet ants are rarely plentiful enough to become a nuisance and are not effectively killed with pest control chemicals. If they do become an annoyance, call a pest control company to carefully remove the insect to a more desirable location.
Do you have a pest problem?
If so, Cayce Exterminating is the best exterminator in Columbia SC! We offer home pest control and commercial pest control in Columbia SC, Cayce SC & Lexington SC. Family owned and operated for over 50 years.
You can trust that our family of highly trained professionals will provide fast service with 100% satisfaction guaranteed. Our technicians are licensed by the state of South Carolina to ensure your safety as well as ours. And we’ll always treat you like family – because that’s what you deserve!
Call us today at 803-796-2847 or visit our website to schedule an appointment online! Pest control columbia sc is something that pest exterminators can take care of, but it should be noted that pest extermination isn’t the only pest removal tactic available. In fact, pest extermination should always go hand-in-hand with pest prevention as a pest infestation can quickly become a major problem for your home.