Ants are the 3rd pest problem in the country. Ant control can be difficult, but there are some things you should know about how ants’ behavior can lead to big headaches for you and your home.


Argentine Ant: Facts, Identification & Control

Argentine Ant

Habit:

Readily adaptable and can nest in a great variety of places. Colonies are massive and may contain hundreds of queens. Nests are usually located in moist soil, next to or under buildings, along sidewalks or beneath boards. These ants travel in trails, foraging day and night.

Diet:

Omnivorous, they can eat almost anything but prefer sweet foods.

Argentine ants


Reproduction:

Like workers in many other ant species, Argentine ant workers are unable to lay reproductive eggs but can direct the development of eggs into reproductive females; the production of males appears to be controlled by the amount of food available to the larvae. The queens seldom or never disperse in winged form. Instead, colonies reproduce by budding off into new units. As few as ten workers and a single queen can establish a new colony.

Pest control:

Argentine ants are a common household pest, often entering structures in search of food or water (particularly during dry or hot weather), or to escape flooded nests during periods of heavy rainfall. Argentine ant colonies almost invariably have many reproductive queens, as many as eight for every 1,000 workers, so eliminating a single queen does not stop the colony's ability to breed. When they invade a kitchen, it is not uncommon to see two or three queens foraging along with the workers.
Due to their nesting behavior and presence of numerous queens in each colony, it is generally impractical to spray Argentine ants with pesticides or to use boiling water as with mound building ants. Spraying with pesticides has occasionally stimulated increased egg-laying by the queens, compounding the problem. Pest control usually requires exploiting their omnivorous dietary habits, through use of slow-acting poison bait, which will be carried back to the nest by the workers, eventually killing all the individuals, including the queens. It may take four to five days to eradicate a colony in this manner.