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Argentine Ants

Argentine Ants

Common Features

Introduction to the Argentine Ant

Argentine Ants are very ordinary-looking brown ants. The workers are all the same size and move in well-defined trails. When they are crushed they release a greasy, musty odor. These ants have colonies with multiple queens, and they form new colonies when a queen, accompanied by attendant workers leaves and walks to a nearby location. An infestation can cover many hectares of land operating as a single colony with many nests. Argentine Ants love to feed on the sugary honeydew produced by aphids, mealy bugs, and scale insects. They also enjoy sweet drinks, cakes, pet food, and meat. The queens can live for several years and workers can live 10 – 12 months.

The Acrobat Ant Habitat

You usually find Argentine Ants on trees, but they can live in many places. They nest in soil, under wood piles, slabs, debris, mulch, inside branches, wall cavities, sidewalks, wall voids, cracks, house plants, under stones, and wood boards. If the weather is very dry or wet for longer periods, the ants will try and find a way into your home for shelter. This is when they become attracted to human food like meat, eggs, oils, fats, and fruits. But, they can also feed on pet food, vomit, feces, sputum, spiders, syrup, and beetles. They have a diet that lets them live almost anywhere.

Damage Description

Argentine ants do not cause structural damage to homes like other ants. The damage they cause is aesthetic and stressful. Because their colonies are so large, they can leave behind unsightly piles of dead ants around your house. These infestations can be difficult to remove.

Acrobat Ant Behavior and Danger

Argentine Ants are not considered dangerous to humans because they do not sting and rarely bite, but are considered an aggressive ant species, and can indirectly hurt humans by spreading bacteria to food. As an invasive ant species, their aggression is mostly reserved for other insect species. The sheer number of Argentine Ants in a colony can overwhelm insect populations, pushing them out of the area, thus disrupting the balance of the ecosystem. Argentine Ants are also persistent, and difficult to maintain once a colony forms multiple nests. A super colony can invade your home in large numbers making professional pest control a must. 

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