Argentine Ant

 Identification and Control

Proper identification is an important first step in controlling ants.

LINEPITHEMA HUMILE

How to Identify an 

Argentine Ant

Argentine ants are 1/8 of an inch in length. They have one node (bump between middle and rear body sections) with a sharp peak distinguish it from odorous house ants.

They are light to dark brown in color and they have a 12-segmented antennae without a club. A club is an enlargement at the end of the antennae.

Where do they come from?

Ants generally enter buildings looking for food. Argentine ants have large colonies that require lots of food.  If they find food, they will lay down a pheromone trail leading more and more ants to the food source.

Argentine ants can build their nests inside a building or in the outdoors.

If the nest is outdoors it can be found in soil, under rocks and logs, potted plants, landscaping mulch, concrete slabs, coal spaces, piles of wood or organic matter, or in exterior walls behind brick.

If the nest is indoors it can be found in wall voids, under carpets and in basements, usually near moisture like sinks, tubs, leaks, etc.

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What do they look like?

Top view of an argentine ant
Head and mouth pieces on an argentine ant
12 Segmented antennae of an argentine ant
Full view of an argentine ant. Note the single node between abdomen and thorax

Where do they live?

You can find argentine ants where you find moisture such as water pipes, sinks, potted plants, under boards/stones/plants, and along sidewalks.

Name:

LINEPITHEMA HUMILE

Size:

Small (4-8 mm)

Diet:

Honeydew, sweets, oils, and insects

How To Keep Ants Away

Trim back any shrubs or trees that come into contact with buildings. When plants touch a home or building they create an easy way for ants to crawl onto and access the building.

Seal all potential ant entryways. Common entry ways are around windows, doors, and utility lines.

Keep dry pet food in sealed bins and clean up any spills.

How To Get Rid Of Ants

Try to locate and eliminate all nests by following ant trails from food source to the nest. This can be done by placing jelly or hot dogs in the yard, waiting 30 minutes to an hour, and then following the trailing ants back to their nest.

Use an insecticidal bait, especially during winter through early spring when populations are small. You can bait throughout the year but early spring leads to best results.

Simply “spraying” for argentine ants rarely gets control and leads to frustration. Baiting or baiting combined with a slow acting-non repellent along the foundation gets better results. Most products that you can buy at the store are not slow-acting or non-repellent.

Stay away from store bought “sprays” for argentine ants.

Controlling these ants is hard, so consider hiring a pest management professional to help.

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