Pest Facts: Argentine Ants

Argentine Ants

Argentine Ants (Linepithema humile )

Color:Dark brown to black; shiny
Legs:Six
Shape:Segmented; oval
Size:1/16-1/4
Antennae:Yes
Flight:Yes

Argentine ants inhabit California and the Southeastern states.

Argentine ants are omnivorous, but they prefer the honeydew produced by scaled insects such as aphids. The ants will protect these insects from harm.

Habits
Argentine ants live in large colonies that will often mix with nearby colonies to create “supercolonies”. They can quickly take over an area dispersing native ants.

Habitat
Argentine ants make their homes in moist soil under rocks, fallen trees, or pavement stones. They prefer areas with year-round rainfall.

Threats
Because Argentine ants live in such large colonies, foraging parties can quickly invade a home to look for food. Argentine ants do bite and some people are allergic, developing painful rashes.

Prevention
Be sure to empty your trash cans often and keep them well away from your home. Keep all food items stored in airtight containers. Even a few loose crumbs can set off an invasion from Argentine ants. If you find Argentine ants in or near your home you should call a professional. They are difficult to eradicate without help.

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