Argentine Ants – Small Pest, Big Problem!

Olivia Atkinson - October 7, 2020

Though they look small, Argentine ants are one of the most persistent and troublesome of all the house-infesting ants!

FAST FACTS:

  • The ants’ favorite place to go is any moist area near a food source!

  • Argentine ants are one of the trailing ants and may travel 200 feet or more with thousands of ants following each other from the nest to a food source.

  • Around this time of year when the weather cools down is when the outside colonies join together to form HUGE overwintering nests.

  • The worker ants tend to be more aggressive and sometimes eliminate other ant species and other surrounding insects in the area.  

Where did they come from?

  • According to NCPA Field Guide to Structural Pests, this species is native to Argentina and Brazil, but was probably introduced in New Orleans in coffee shops from Brazil before 1891.

  • Their favorite spots to roam are found in the southern states and California!

How do I recognize them?

  • The body of an argentine ant varies from light to dark brown and are about 2.2-2.6 millimeters long.

  • Although the ants have no stinger, they can still bite if provoked.

  • From the side, the thorax of this ant is uneven and can give off a musty or greasy odor when killed.

  • This species of ants can easily be confused with tiny black ants, which have a similar appearance to Argentine ants.

What are their habits?

  • If you have these crawling pests inside your home, try looking near any source of moisture such as water pipes, sinks, or potted plants to catch the ants as those are their prime hang out spots!

  • Argentine ants are not picky eaters and will feed on ANY kind of food (meats, eggs, oil, fats, etc.). However, they do have a sweet tooth and prefer anything sugary and sweet!

  • If the conditions are too wet or too dry outside, the ants will form a large group and invade buildings to find a new place to reside.

  • If they are lacking in sweets (such as honeydew), they will make their trek elsewhere to find a new source. They tend to trail along tree branches and utility lines to gain entrance.

NOW THAT YOU HAVE ALL THE INFO….

You can know what to look for if you are worried these ants are infesting your home!

Argentine ants are difficult to control.  In fact, they are one of the top ants for pest professionals to get call-backs because they often travel so far away from their nest for food.  The Clark’s advantage is our pest professionals are trained to identify them correctly the first time, and use the most effective, environmentally safe insecticide to eliminate this pest with minimal impact on other beneficial insects.

KEEP CALM AND CALL US! We’ll take it from here.

866-781-4991

Sources: https://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheet/argentine-ants/

NPCA Field Guide To Structural Pests – Eric H. Smith and Richard C. Whitman