Most ant species that commonly infest structures are categorized as nuisance pests. Some ant pest species inflict painful and medically significant stings, like red-imported fire ants and harvester ants, but these pests are mostly a problem in the southern states. Ant pests in upstate New York do not pose a health threat to residents, with the possible exception of the non-native European red ant. However, this does not mean that upstate New York residents are safe from painful ant bites. For example, one species of acrobat ant, C. cerasi, infests homes frequently in upstate New York where they sometimes bite residents. These bites don’t result in serious medical symptoms, but they are reportedly painful. C. cerasi ants are also known for establishing nests within houses, and they may nest within structural wood cavities that were formerly inhabited by termites or carpenter ants. Perhaps worst of all, there is some evidence to suggest that these ants can transmit tapeworms to dogs, which may result in pet fatalities.
cerasi ants can be found in the southeast US as well as the northeast, but for reasons that are not entirely understood, these ants are only a problem within homes located in the northeastern states. Eradicating infestations can be difficult due to this species’ habit of nesting within tight spaces where they may be difficult to notice. Some of the most common nesting areas include spaces between shingles, within wall voids and beneath baseboards. In some cases, these ants will establish a nest or several nests near homes in order to have easy access to human food sources. Many residents of upstate New York who have experienced C. cerasi infestations have noticed that these ant pests are inexplicably difficult to kill. When workers from this species are stepped on they often regain activity after a few seconds, and this may be due to an unusually durable exoskeleton and/or the relatively small size of worker ants. C. cerasi ant workers can easily squeeze through incredibly narrow foundation cracks, so keeping homes well sealed will minimize the chances of an infestation.
Have you ever sustained both bites and stings simultaneously from ant pests?