Types of Ants in Florida: A guide

Florida is known for being both a retirement home and a tropical paradise. 

However, something else you have to know about Florida is all the different types of ants in Florida.

There are many different types of ants in Florida. These include the Odorous House Ant, Pharaoh Ant, Red Fire Ant, Florida Carpenter Ant, and Ghost Ant. We suggest the Florida Carpenter Ant as a beginner-friendly Ant to start ant-keeping.

We can see why we need a guide with so many different ant species in Florida.

When you break down all the different Florida ant species, they all have some common traits.

Below is more information about the different kinds of ants in Florida, their features, and how you can recognize them.

Florida Ant Species (Table Resource)

Type of Ant Size (Worker) Size (Queen) Keeper Ranking (1-10) Territory
Ghost Ant .05 in .1 in 5 Central-South
Florida Carpenter Ant .3 in .8 in 8 Throughout
Red Fire Ant .1 in .38 in 1 Throughout
Pharaoh Ant .07 in .16 in 2 Throughout
Sugar Ant (Odorous) .1 in .65 in 5 Central-South


Types of Ants in Florida (Map)

Types of Ants in Florida Map

Ghost Ant

We start this list off of Florida’s different types of ants with the Ghost Ant.

This Ant looks like it should star in a Halloween movie. 

With a dark shade on its head, pale and translucent legs, and Gaster, this Ant seems like it could actually be a ghost.

This Ant is about 1/16th inches long but sometimes looks even smaller.

The unique thing about this Ant is since its legs are translucent, many people underestimate their size

…or don’t see this Ant crawling around at all.

These ants love the sweets, so make sure you don’t drop any cookies during your midnight snack run.

An interesting fact about Ghost Ants is that they actually can have multiple Queens in one nest.

This is unique, as most ant species have one Queen Ant.

Carpenter Ant

The Carpenter ant is such a staple and common Ant found in Florida; This complex is so prominent it has its own specific species – The Florida Carpenter Ant.

This Ant is troublesome, as it loves infest homeowners’ homes.

According to the University of Florida, the Florida carpenter ant accounts for 20% of all homeowner ant complaints. (Source, Paper Source)

The size of these ants has a pretty wide range, and you should expect a worker ant to be around 7 mm (.28 Inches) and a Queen Ant to be around 20 mm in length (.8 Inches).

Carpenter Ant

These are pretty giant ants – and evident during the mating seasons.

These ants love wood, and you’ll usually find their nest in older abandoned sheds that harbor damp wood.

If you’re trying to avoid having these in your home, check around the house for any damaged wood. 

Doing this will remove the Florida Carpenter Ants’ favorite nesting spot.

A unique fact about the Florida Carpenter Ant is they don’t eat the wood – they remove it. (What a waste)

Red Fire Ant

Having one of the most painful stings in Florida, the Red Fire Ant doesn’t hesitate to defend their massive nests.

These ants create massive mounds for nests that can be seen from miles away.

We’ve gone over these ants extensively in our other guide, fire ant keeping, but these ants are highly aggressive, reproduce insanely fast, and eat everything in the area.

fire ant

These ants are pretty tiny, and only range from about 3.175 mm (.125 Inches) to 9.5 mm (.375 Inches)

A unique fact about the Red Fire Ant is they are so problematic that the United States government is actively trying to contain the spread of Red Fire Ants, as they ruin local ecosystems (like Florida Beaches) with their breeding and eating habits.


Another smaller and at about 2.4 mm (1/16 Inches), and interestingly the males and worker ants are actually the same size (not the Queen).

This Ant can quickly become a nightmare if it infests your home, as it can survive even the most advanced household pest control attempts.

These ants will eat everything and are well known for infesting hospitals and other large corporate buildings that offer a cafeteria.

Pharaoh Ant

Because these ants don’t need soil or other substrates to create nests, they can infiltrate a building and start building out a home anywhere.

These ants do not care where they put their nest and have been seen nesting in everything from electrical wiring to underground sewage systems.

A unique (and sad) fact about Pharaoh Ants is that they have been caught feeding on the flesh of burn victims and are known for transferring diseases within hospitals.

Odorous House Ant (Sugar Ant)

The Odorous House Ant, commonly known as the Sugar Ant, is the bunch’s friendliest Ant.

With a size of about 2.4 mm (1/16 Inches), this Ant does not sting or bite – and is very well known for cooperating with other ants in the area.

Odorous House Ant

This trait makes it friendly but dangerous.

With this level of cooperation, these ants can grow to monstrous numbers very quickly, as they leverage already established colony’s resources to help themselves grow.

Usually, these ants will become a problem during the rainy season, as fruit and other natural sugar resources start to drain, these ants will roam into nearby houses to check out the cookie jar.

A unique fact about the Odorous House Ant is if you crush them, you will get the sweet aroma of rotten smashed coconut.

Types of Ants in Florida Ranking Explanation

Ghost Ant

Ghost ants are a very cool species to keep as an ant-keeper.

The translucent properties of these ants make them fun and exciting to watch.

They are ranked a five due to not being beginner-friendly and being impossible to get rid of if they get out.

Florida Carpenter Ant

The Florida Carpenter Ant is an excellent ant to start ant-keeping.

These ants are great-sized, are not very aggressive, and are fun and exciting to watch run around.

Red Fire Ant

Expert ant keepers should only attempt keeping the Red Fire Ant. 

We’ve reviewed these in-depth in fire ant keeping.

These ants are highly aggressive, reproduce insanely fast, ruin any formicarium they are in, and constantly try to escape.

Pharaoh Ant

This Ant shares many similarities to the Red Fire Ant, but ranked one point higher due to them not biting.

These ants are highly aggressive and become tough to manage very quickly.

I would not suggest the Pharaoh Ant as a beginner Ant-Keeping species.

Sugar Ant (Odorous House Ant)

These ants are honestly just not very exciting.

They are easy to care for and aren’t a huge threat, but they get boring fast.

Here’s a video of a guy reviewing why he’s getting rid of his colony (the ants were boring).

Other Articles On Common Ant Questions

When it comes to ants, there are a ton of different questions.

We have some posts that answer some of the common and most well-known ant questions.

Those articles are in this list here:

Frequently Asked Questions

Are these ants only in

No, most of these ants are seen in other places outside of Florida.

Even the Florida Carpenter ant can be encountered outside Florida, in neighboring states.

Different Kinds of Ants in Florida?

There are many different kinds of ants in Florida; these include the Odorous House Ant, Pharaoh Ant, Red Fire Ant, Florida Carpenter Ant, and Ghost Ant.

Tiny Ants In Florida

The Ghost Ant and Pharaoh Ants are some of the smallest and tiniest ants in Florida, with worker sizes averaging around .06 inches.

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