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.


Red Crazy Ant: Facts, Identification & Control

Argentine Ant

Anoplolepis longipes

Description:

Ant colonies live in nests that may be located under ground or in trees. Nest size averages about 4000 individuals.

Approximately 80% of the population are workers, 15% are queens and the remaining percentage is composed of eggs and developing larvae and pupae. There is an increase in nest size and foraging activity during drier months.

BEHAVIOR:

Different ant species are known to invade the nests of other species and feed on the brood of the other species. Some species of ant are more aggressive than others.

The longlegged ant is not aggressive when it encounters other ant species. Their first motion is to escape since they are fast moving and active. If involved in a battle with another ant species, the longlegged ant will curve its abdomen up toward the head of its attacker and spray a defensive substance from poison glands located in the abdomen.

This secretion is highly toxic to other ants as well as other individuals within the colony and is a very effective defense.


Diet:

Food for the colony consists of sugary materials from fruits or plant extracts, honeydew, and proteinaceous material from insect prey and carcasses collected by foragers.

Being quite a predaceous ant, the majority of the food is from prey, especially ground level insects such as cockroaches and crickets..




Reproduction:

Foraging is most active when ground temperatures are between 77û and 86û F and limited by strong winds and heavy rains.

Availability of food influences the size of the nest population. Dispersal of ants may be either through colony budding or by mating flights of alate (winged) individuals, the former being the more common.

It takes from 76 to 84 days for eggs the reach maturity.

Pest control:

Ant baits mixed with insecticides and spraying are effective in managing this pest..