There are approximately 270 types of ants residing in California. Unlike the termite, ants have a "constricted" body shape, resulting in the ant seeming to have a small waist. They also have pincer-like jaws which they can use to bite. Ants live in colonies that can range from 300,000 to 500,000. Food and nesting preferences can also be useful in determining the species of ant one is dealing with.
Ants can be a nuisance to the inhabitants of the structures which they enter to find their food. While most do not bite or sting, some of the commonly found species in California do use these defenses. There are a few species known to be aggressive biters and stingers.
Ants are among the most common pests. They inhabit homes as well as businesses and restaurants, entering through the tiniest of cracks. An invisible trail of pheromones is left to lead other members of the colony to the food source. If threatened, the colony can relocate quickly to evade the danger. Worker ants can live as long as seven years. The queen can survive up to 15 years of age. Attempting to eradicate ants without a professional can be ineffective at destroying the colony itself and only target the ants one can see. Professional treatments are tailored to the specific type of ant being dealt with, and aimed at the nests to prevent the future return of these pests.