A Comprehensive Guide To Identifying Common Types Of Ants

October 17, 2023
A Comprehensive Guide To Identifying Common Types Of Ants

Aside from cockroach, mosquito, and rat infestations, ants can also become a significant nuisance in your home. These tiny invaders are considered pests for the simple reason that they thrive in organised colonies. The moment you spot a few ants crawling on any surface within your home, it is a signal to consider professional pest control services, as there is a high likelihood they have already established a thriving community somewhere in your house – this could potentially lead to infestations and food contamination. Fortunately, with the right solution, ants can be easily eradicated. However, the key to effectively eliminating these unwelcome guests lies in identifying the specific ant species that have made themselves at home in your residence.

In this article, we share some of the most common types of ants that can infest a Singaporean household.

Common species of ants in homes

Singapore’s tropical climate provides a conducive environment for various ant species to thrive. Among the many ant species in the region, four stand out as frequent invaders of homes and gardens;

1. Pharaoh’s ants (Monomorium pharaonis)

Pharaoh’s ants are notorious for their persistence and ability to adapt to a wide range of environments. They are known to carry and transmit diseases, making them a significant health concern.

These ants are small, measuring around 1.5 mm in length. They have a yellowish to light brown body with a darker abdomen and two-segmented antennal clubs. In terms of their behaviour, pharaoh’s ants are highly invasive and can establish nests in a variety of locations, including furniture and electrical appliances. Additionally, they are known to feed on a wide range of foods, including pet food, crumbs, and even decaying insects.

2. Carpenter ants (Camponotus spp.)

Carpenter ants are some of the largest ants found in Singapore. They are often mistaken for termites due to their similar size and wood-damaging behaviour. However, unlike termites, carpenter ants do not consume wood but rather excavate it to create their nests. These nests are typically found in decaying or damp wood, which can lead to structural damage if left unchecked.

These big ants vary in size, with workers measuring from 6 mm to 13 mm. They have a robust and dark-coloured body, often black or reddish-brown. Some species may have a combination of red and black colours.

Carpenter ants are primarily nocturnal and forage for food at night; they feed on sugary substances and other insects. If you notice piles of sawdust-like material around your home or tiny holes in wooden structures, the chances are that you might have a carpenter ant infestation.

3. Ghost ants (Tapinoma melanocephalum) 

Ghost ants are tiny ants known for their pale and almost translucent appearance. Despite their diminutive size, they can become a significant nuisance when they invade homes and kitchens.

These ants are incredibly small, with workers measuring around 1.5 mm in length. They have a distinctive appearance, with pale-coloured bodies and darker heads and abdomens, giving them their ghostly appearance. Ghost ants are attracted to greasy and sugary foods, making kitchens a common target. In addition, they are known for their habit of establishing multiple satellite nests, making their elimination challenging.

4. Crazy ants (Paratrechina longicornis)

Crazy ants, also known as longhorn crazy ants, are notorious for their erratic and fast-paced movements. They earned their name due to their unpredictable behaviour, making them challenging to control. Crazy ants are small, ranging from 2 mm to 3 mm in length. They have a dark brown to black body with long, slender legs and long antennae. When disturbed, they move rapidly in a zigzag pattern, making them easily distinguishable.

Crazy ants are opportunistic feeders and will consume a wide range of food, including dead insects, sweets, and even smaller ants. They often form supercolonies that can spread quickly if left unaddressed.


Ants may be small, but they can become a nuisance when they invade your abode. By understanding the common ant species in Singapore, you can take proactive steps to prevent infestations and protect your property.

Remember that early detection and appropriate management are key to maintaining a pest-free home in the tropical climate of Singapore. At PestClinic, we offer professional residential, commercial, and industrial pest control services to help you get rid of unnecessary pests. For more information, do not hesitate to get in touch with us today.

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