Michigan is a state located in the Great Lakes region of the United States, known for its natural beauty and diverse culture.
Some of the state’s most popular attractions include the Mackinac Bridge, Sleeping Bear Dunes, and the Great Lakes themselves.
We can’t mention Michigan without also mentioning the state’s thriving automotive industry and the Motor City, Detroit. Michigan is also home to many delicious foods, including pastries and a famous cherry pie.
And let’s not forget about the state’s passion for sports, with the University of Michigan and Michigan State University both boasting successful athletic programs.
While all of this is nice, we can’t forget the cool ants that are in Michigan.
These ants listed below would be perfect to start your ant-keeping journey, as they’re well-adjusted to Michigan’s humidity, water, and temperature!
Types Of Ants In Michigan
Acrobat Ants, Allegheny Mound Ants, Carpenter Ants, Fire Ants, Little Black Ants, Odorous House Ants, Pavement Ants, Pharaoh Ants
Due to the adaptable way, a worker pulls its belly (gaster) out over the whole frame; these species are called acrobat ants.
The term acrobat ant refers to the ant Market growth-driven ashmeadi (Emery). The average length of acrobat ants ranges from 2.6 to 3.2 mm and is considered small-medium.
Their bodies are glossy and range from pale red or brown to black.
An acrobat ant’s most distinctive feature is its heart-shaped gaster, raised across its thorax when threatened. Coastal pine woods often include an ant nest within every tree in the cavities created by cossid moth caterpillars and pine beetles.
A colony of acrobat ants lives within every tree, fiercely protecting their territory. However, an extensive colony may extend to 2 or 3 pine trees if two or more trees are nearby. The term acrobat ant refers to the Crematogaster ashmeadi.
There are around ten kinds of Crematogaster throughout the southern United States, with Crematogaster ashmeadi being the most prevalent species.
Due to their incredible ability to raise their belly (gaster) over their entire thorax, these species are called acrobat ants for these fantastic acrobats.
The average length of acrobat ants ranges from 2.6 to 3.2 mm, and is considered tiny to medium size ant.
Their glossy spines range in hue from pale red to brown and black.
However, an acrobat ant’s most distinctive feature is the heart-shaped gaster, raised above its thorax when threatened. These ants love to harbor inside trees and crawl all over wires.
One of the easiest ways to spot these ants is by inspecting wires, looking for their waste.
A standard nest may extend over three pine trees if two or more trees are nearby. A colony of acrobat ants lives in each pine, fiercely protecting their territory.
Allegheny Mound Ants
An American ant species that construct massive mounds are known as the Allegheny mound ant.
These ants are composed of an abdomen and head that are crimson colored, dark brown and black stomach and legs.
While these ants look very similar to carpenter ants, the dark legs and huge mounds on the ground indicate that these are not carpenter ants.
These ants reproduce pretty quickly due to them being polygynous.
The eggs laid by the multiple queens develop into more worker ants or queens.
The sizes of the workers range from 3.1 – 6.5 mm, while the queen is much bigger, measuring up to 12.7 mm.
Allegheny mound ants build their nests throughout pastures, forested regions, and meadows.
They also set up nests on lawns or parks in urban and rural settings.
The workers graze on terraces and balconies but usually do not enter residences.
Allegheny Mound Ants are carbohydrate lovers, consuming sugary fluids, honeydew made by aphids, sap from trees, and sometimes other insects.
The workers will protect aphids who make them honeydew, just like carpenter ants.
These ants can be disastrous for businesses like farms and greenhouses.
These insects will kill nearby trees, vegetation, and structures shading the mound to keep the mound in the sun.
To do this, they bite many holes into the bark and continuously spray their formic acid into the hole.
Eventually, this kills and knocks over whatever was shading the mound.
These ants are very aggressive.
Since their bite comes with formic acid, these ants will hurt if bitten.
Carpenter ants got their name because they dig wood to make their nests, creating neat tunnels within the wood.
These ants will only chew and burrow through the wood to build nests; Interestingly, they do not consume wood.
Carpenter ants’ length ranges from 12 to 25 mm depending on the species.
Carpenter ants that are black are frequent pests, but these insects can also be all-black, all-red, or all-brown.
When mature, the black western carpenter ants colony has ten to twenty thousand workers.
Incredibly, some big colonies have more than fifty thousand ants.
In most territories, there is only one active, wingless Queen. The colony must be older than two years before the production of swarmers takes place (potential new queens).
Instead, swarmers are produced the year before and kept in the nest during winter in preparation for the ensuing years’ dispersal.
In the east of the US, swarmers arrive from May through August, whereas in the west, they appear from February till June.
Red Imported Fire Ant
Some of the approximately 200 distinct insects in the genera are known as “fire ants.”
Due to their red color, they do not belong to the subspecies Solenopsis Richteri.
Many of the names possessed by each species of Solenopsis are commonly used interchangeably when referring to each other, such as the term “red ant.”
The three body parts of adult fire ants are the skull, the thoracic, and the abdomen, along with three sets of limbs and a group of antennas.
Luckily, this is the same as the anatomy of all other adult insects.
The red fire ant has a golden-brown skull with a dark metasoma (abdomen).
The ants vary in length from 2 – 6 mm and are two colored, black and red.
An easy way to identify a fire ant is by its dark abdomen and contrasting red thorax.
These ants are aggressive, eat anything in their path, and breed at an accelerated pace.
Fire ants can become worker ants in just 15 days. These ants are officially a pest in the United States, consuming over 300 million acres.
Little Black Ant
The little black ant is native to North America.
Known for their lustrous black hue, the workers are 1 – 2 mm long, and the Queen is 4 – 5 mm in size.
A colony may have more than one Queen because it’s a polygynous species.
A nest typically has a few hundred workers, a modest size.
These scavengers, known as Monomorium minimum, can eat anything, including dead insects and bird droppings.
Some of their favorite insects to eat are fall webworm larvae and codling moth caterpillars.
Additionally, they tend to collect honeydew insects like the soybean aphid. Although they prefer to nest on earth mounds, they may scan for other homes with ease of access.
Queens and males execute the nuptial flight, bonding in midair, mostly in summertime.
The males pass away soon after. Every Queen builds a new nest, removes her wings, then lays eggs.
Since this colony is polygynous, expect more queens shortly after. It takes around a month for an egg to mature into an adult.
Odorous House Ant
The worker-odorous house ants are around 3mm long and black to dark brown.
Additionally, they have antennae that resemble a long stick.
Crushed, odorous house ants produce a pungent, rotten coconut-like stench that gives these insects their name.
Odorous house ants build their nests indoors next to moist areas, such as heaters, heater cavities along hot water pipes, under leaking fixtures, and on termite-damaged wood.
Outside, odorous ants are frequently discovered on bare soil or beneath firewood piles. Odorous house ants enjoy eating sweets and particularly enjoy consuming honeydew.
Occasionally, they eat other things, such as pet food or insects. Approximately tri-monthly, they often relocate their nests because of rain.
They create new colonies following mating flights at the end of spring and summer.
Colonies are also split by the budding process, in which a queen leaves her nest with some workers to start a new colony elsewhere.
The head and thorax of pavement ants are marked with grooves, the thorax being the only part of the body-bearing spines.
Their size is usually between 2.5 and 3 mm in length.
Pavement ants get their name because they typically make their nests under roadways, building foundations, and sidewalks.
Therefore, an area of disturbed soil near a paved surface is likely the result of pavement ant activity. Pavement ants may build their nests inside buildings near a heat source, mainly during winter.
These trailing ants consume many items, including honeydew from aphids, oily foods, seeds, and dead insects. Pavement ant colonies include up to 4,000 workers comprising several queens.
The queens are much bigger than the workers, going upwards of 9 mm in length.
The drones and young queens searching for partners are frequently spotted on nuptial flights during the end of spring and the start of summer. Drones and queens that reproduce have wings.
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.
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.