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Identify Ants in Your Ontario Home

 In Ant Control, Blog

Notice a trail of small insects running around your property? It could be an ant. Ants are common pests in Ontario and can easily grow in population if left unchecked. This can become not just a nuisance but also put your property and family at risk of being harmed.

While ants are certainly pests, they aren’t all the same. Some prefer dark, concrete areas while others like to nest inside your home’s woodwork. They also eat different diets. Being able to identify ants in your home can make preventing them from coming back much easier. In this guide, Greenleaf Pest Control will explore three common types of ants that might just be crawling around your property.

Pharaoh Ants

Pharoh Ants


It was once believed that pharaoh ants descended from the times of ancient Egypt, when the Bible describes plagues of swarming ants attacking this ancient civilization. Despite this name, pharaoh ants are simply a variety of ant that are native to Africa. Having grown in population, pharaoh ants have managed to spread across the globe, reaching far-flung destinations such as Australia and even here in Canada.

While large in number and grand in their name, pharaoh ants are actually quite small. Most male worker ants grow up to 3mm in size at their very largest. Just like many other ants, pharaoh ants live in colonies led by a queen. Pharaoh ant queens are larger ants at 5mm. Their job is to produce more ants and feed off the food supplied by the workers. On average, a pharaoh ant queen will lay hundreds of eggs during her lifespan with each egg only needing 5-7 days to hatch. Colonies split up over time as the population grows and a new queen leaves with some worker ants to find a new nest – which unfortunately can be inside your own home.

Key Facts:

Characteristics: A red or brown ant with a dark abdomen. A small, slender appearance.

Colour: Very dark colours such as brown, red, and black.

Diet: Fatty or sugary foods such as cake, syrups, jelly, fruit, bread, meat and more.

Why Pharaoh Ants are Pests: Pharaoh ants are known to eat through certain fabrics like silk. They can also infect food and food preparation spaces with dangerous bacteria like salmonella – making you and your family very sick.

Where to Find Them in Your Home: Close to doorways and windows, as well as in warm, humid areas of your home. Trails might also be visible near food sources.

How to Remove Pharaoh Ants

  • Seal away all food and make sure all food preparation surfaces are regularly cleaned.
  • Avoid sprays or insecticides as this can mask the problem and allow the colony to survive.
  • Contact a pest control company for professional extermination solutions.

Carpenter Ants


Carpenter ants are native to Canada and the rest of the Americas. They are one of the most common ants found in Canada and can be separated into two types, red carpenter ants and black carpenter ants. Carpenter ants are fairly large in comparison to their species, reaching up to 25mm in sizes for queens.

Key Facts:

Characteristics: A large, dark ant with a thin abdomen, large head, and 6 tall legs.

Colour: Red or black, depending on their classification.

Diet: Foods high in sugar or protein like peanut butter, honey, candy, meat, and breads. They also enjoy plants, trails from aphids, and dead insects.

Why Carpenter Ants are Pests: Carpenter ants are known to eat through woodwork in your home, surrounding windows and doors. Over time, this can cause structural damage to your property.

Where to Find Them in Your Home: Around wooden areas of your home, including in walls and window frames.

How to Remove Carpenter Ants

  • Ensure all food is sealed and properly stored.
  • Cut off their water supply by sealing moist areas of your home and wiping away any sitting water.
  • Contact a pest control company for professional carpenter ant extermination solutions.

Pavement Ants

Pavement Ants


As their name suggests, pavement ants typically find their home on the sidewalk in the gaps between pavement slabs. However, they don’t just hide out on the road. Pavement ants are also known to invade driveways and the foundations of homes, especially during the cold winter months seen in Toronto and Ontario.

Pavement ants are native to Europe but now thrive across North America. Unlike other types of ants, pavement ants are well-suited to life in cities and suburbs, making them more common in densely populated areas like Toronto and the GTA. They are an aggressive species that often come into war-like conflict with other colonies nested in sidewalks – sometimes leaving trails of dirt and dead ants in their path.

Key Facts

Characteristics: A small, brown or black ant up to 3mm in size with pairs of small spines and a shiny-like coating.

Colour: Brown or black.

Diet: Sugary or greasy foods like candy and syrup, as well as meat and other dead insects. Pavement ants are not picky with their food and will eat nearly anything edible.

Why Pavement Ants are Pests: Pavement ants seek shelter inside or around your home during colder months. As well as infecting your food and being a visual nuisance, they are also able to sting humans.

Where to Find Them in Your Home: Driveways, garages, patios, basements, or other concrete or stone areas.

How to Remove Pavement Ants

  • Cut off their food supply as much as possible by sealing food.
  • Avoid insecticides unless directed to do so by an exterminator. Ant colonies will survive until the queen dies and so need baiting out first.
  • Seal any obvious cracks in garages or driveways around your home.
  • Contact your local pest control company for professional pavement ant extermination.

Need Ant Control or Exterminators in Toronto & Southern Ontario?

If you are experiencing ant problems in your home in Toronto or Southern Ontario, Greenleaf Pest Control is here to help. We use environmentally responsible pest control solutions that will help keep the ants listed above outside of your home for good. Learn more about our ant control solutions or contact us today!

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