The Argentine ant is black, tiny, and very noticeable in the southern United States, Hawaii, and California. Minor Argentine ant infestations can be found in Indiana, Arizona, Illinois, Oregon, Maryland, Washington, and Missouri.
Below you will find all the information you need to identify Argentine ants and get rid of them.
What Are Argentine Ants?
Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) are small insects that can live both inside and outside your house or building. They can vary in color from light brown, dark brown to black.
Argentine ants go through a life cycle similar to other species. The eggs are white, after 28 days, the larvae emerge from the eggs, at approximately 74 days, they reach their adult stage.
They can be found outside the home in damp places such as under rocks, mulch, concrete slabs, tree or wood debris, fallen logs, etc. Indoors can be found in wall voids, around moisture, and damaged wood. They will move if they notice that their habitat is being affected or find a good food source.
If you have an Argentine ant infestation, you should know that it is difficult to control because its biology is unusual. They differ from other ants species because Argentine ants have many queens, and worker ants can return to their desired nest.
They can form a super colony that is often linked by tunnels. Outside they can find many nests that will be difficult to locate, so you must use treatments such as baits to eliminate them correctly. Queen ants are different from the other queens of the other species, and each can lay up to 60 eggs a day.
Argentine queen ants are smaller; they can be between 1/6 to ¼ inches long. The Argentine ants’ queens can be seen outside their nest with the workers. The other queens are in the nest for life. Males are short-lived, and their only function is to mate with a queen.
How to Identify Argentine Ants?
Argentine ants are small, light brown, dark brown to black. They can be 2.2 to 2.8 mm long.
Their antennae have 12 elbow segments. You can identify them by the foraging trails they leave behind. You can see the trails going up trees, buildings, and inside your home.
These pests have an uneven thorax and have an erect petiole node behind the thorax. These are the two main characteristics that allow you to identify an Argentine ant.
Do Argentine ants bite?
Argentine ants are among the most aggressive and troublesome pests in the world. They are usually territorial and aggressive and can not bite humans, although they are not poisonous.
Are they dangerous?
As the nest of Argentine ants can have multiple queens, they can quickly reproduce. They can turn into a very serious infestation with thousands of workers quickly. As they are attracted to waste and decomposition, they can carry bacteria and leave them behind. They don’t bite human, but they are still dangerous.
Argentine ants feed, bypassing food from mouth to mouth, so baits are a good way to eliminate them. These pests can kill other insects, and inside a home, they can have millions of ants and many queens.
Where do they find Argentine ants in your house?
These ants are considered very annoying pests and can crowd out native ants. You can find them in cracks in walls, in damp areas, under debris on the ground, in the foundations of houses, under piles of garbage, etc.
When the weather begins to cool down, Argentine ants use the holes and cracks in your home to enter and take shelter.
What Are they Attracted to?
This species of ants can adapt to any place and nest. The nests are usually in damp areas, near sidewalks, under debris, etc. Argentine ants can travel in silks and are omnivorous to eat almost everything, although they always prefer sweet foods.
Also Read: How to Control Ants in the Garden Naturally
How To Eliminate Argentine Ants Naturally?
Do you have Argentine ants in your home? The best way to eliminate them is by using baits. Homemade baits are made with borax; boric acid is the most used when killing Argentine ants correctly. When the ants come into contact with this bait, they will die, and as they feed on the mouth to mouth, it will kill the ants inside the nest.
You can also use fipronil-based pesticides but know that not using the correct amount of pesticide will only cause them to separate. Experts recommend that you combine pesticides with baits for the best results. You must follow the following steps:
- You must establish multiple bait stations; you must place them on fences, trail edges, walls, etc.
- If you use gel or paste baits, you should place them out of the sun to last longer.
- Liquid baits should be sprayed frequently.
If the infestation is very large and you cannot, you can call an expert in these pests to help you immediately. You will have the knowledge and the right remedy to eliminate them correctly.
How To Prevent Argentine Ants From Getting Into Your House?
If you have already managed to end the Argentine ant’s infestation in your home, you must prevent them from re-entering. Follow the following tips:
- Remember that the first thing to remove is the nests to prevent them from reappearing.
- You must clean to reduce the habitat of these ants. Remove clutter from the floor, clean up debris near your home, remove decaying materials, rocks, etc.
- Don’t overwater your gardens or patios.
- You must repair water leaks, and you must verify that the water from the roof falls away from the foundation.
- You should inspect your yard for honeydew-producing insects because these pests eat this honeydew produced by these insects.
- Check for ants by following a path that goes inside your house.
- You must seal the cracks, holes, and crevices in the walls, windows, and any part of the structure to prevent them from entering.
- You must eliminate food sources and avoid crumbs on surfaces that can attract these pests.
- Trim trees, shrubs, any vegetation near your home.
- Clean shelves, countertops, and floors in your home.
- Avoid leaving food scraps in the sink, and keep your dishwasher clean.
- Pet food should be stored in sealed containers or glass jars.
- Do not leave your pet’s food on the plates near the doors for a long time because they can attract Argentine ants.
- Check the plants in the pots.
These tips can help you keep Argentine ants out of your home.