Common Summertime Ants in the Backyard

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy your backyard, but it’s also when various ant species become more active. Understanding which ants are most common can help you manage them effectively and ensure your outdoor activities remain pleasant.

Types of Common Summertime Ants

1. Argentine Ants

Argentine ants are small, brown ants that form large colonies. They are attracted to sweet foods and moisture, making your kitchen and bathroom common targets if they find a way indoors.


  • Size: 1/16 to 1/4 inch
  • Color: Light to dark brown
  • Behavior: Often seen in trails, especially near food sources

Prevention Tips:

  • Keep food in sealed containers
  • Fix leaky pipes and faucets
  • Use ant baits and sprays around entry points

2. Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are larger and can cause significant damage to wooden structures. Unlike termites, they do not eat wood but hollow it out for nesting.


  • Size: 1/4 to 1/2 inch
  • Color: Usually black, but can be red or brown
  • Behavior: Often seen foraging for food, especially at night

Prevention Tips:

  • Remove rotting wood and stumps from your yard
  • Seal cracks and crevices in your home’s exterior
  • Keep trees and shrubs trimmed away from your house

3. Odorous House Ants

These ants emit a strong, rotten coconut-like odor when crushed. They are known for invading homes in search of food, particularly sugary substances.


  • Size: 1/16 to 1/8 inch
  • Color: Brown to black
  • Behavior: Often seen in large numbers near food sources

Prevention Tips:

  • Clean up spills and crumbs immediately
  • Store food in airtight containers
  • Use ant baits to control infestations

4. Pavement Ants

Pavement ants typically nest under sidewalks, driveways, and foundations. They can enter homes through cracks and crevices, hunting for food.


  • Size: 1/8 inch
  • Color: Dark brown to black
  • Behavior: Often seen in small mounds of soil on pavement

Prevention Tips:

  • Seal cracks in your foundation and around doors and windows
  • Keep outdoor eating areas clean
  • Use ant bait stations near entry points

5. Fire Ants

Fire ants are particularly aggressive and can deliver painful stings. These ants build large mounds in open areas such as lawns and fields.


  • Size: 1/8 to 3/8 inch
  • Color: Reddish-brown to black
  • Behavior: Known for their aggressive nature and painful stings

Prevention Tips:

  • Avoid disturbing their mounds
  • Use fire ant-specific baits and insecticides
  • Wear protective clothing when working in infested areas

Managing Ant Infestations

Natural Remedies

If you prefer to avoid chemicals, there are several natural remedies that can help deter ants:

  • Vinegar: Spray a mixture of vinegar and water around entry points.
  • Cinnamon: Sprinkle cinnamon around areas where ants are entering.
  • Lemon Juice: Wipe down surfaces with lemon juice to repel ants.

Professional Pest Control

For severe infestations, consider hiring a professional pest control service. They can provide targeted treatments and long-term solutions to keep your backyard ant-free.

Ants are a common summertime nuisance, but with a bit of knowledge and the right preventative measures, you can enjoy your backyard without unwelcome guests. Keep your outdoor spaces clean, seal potential entry points, and consider both natural and professional solutions for managing ant populations. Happy summer!