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Bigheaded Ants

Bigheaded Ants

Common Features

Introduction to the Bigheaded Ant

The Bigheaded Ant, Pheldole dentata is a native species of Pheldole regularly found in Virginia. A colony has two different-sized workers, one is called major and the other minor. The major workers are the ones with large heads. The front of the head is sculptured, while the back half is smooth and shiny. Their entire body is covered with long hairs, and the workers have a pair of spines facing directly upward. These spines are located on the waist.

The Bigheaded Ant Habitat

Bigheaded Ants are found across the state of Virginia. They spread quickly and build large colonies with distinctive nests. They are known for making large nests in sand throughout the Virginia landscape, which they build by excavating the soil. Sometimes, they build tunnels long enough to bring the soil up through cracks in sidewalks, patios, and driveways near homes. Bigheaded Ants love to build nests near your home, where they construct mud tubes that are often mistaken for subterranean termites. Bigheaded Ant infestations can be very annoying to homeowners because the ants leave piles of sand as they forage into bathrooms, windows, doors, and other parts of your house. If you have debris lying around outside, this can also be used by the ants to nest. They can also nest in piles of leaves, firewood, fences, and walls.

Damage Description

These ants are not known for causing damage to homes and other structures, and are mainly known as a nuisance.

Bigheaded Ant Behavior and Danger

Bigheaded Ants don’t directly threaten you, or your home’s structural integrity but a colony can quickly take over an entire landscape, which includes your home. When disturbed, the ants will bite, but the bite is not painful.  These ants can send workers to forage through cracks in your house where they will feed on food remnants. Some of their favorites include meat grease, molasses, and peanut butter. When these ants start moving into your home, you typically find them in your kitchen and storage cabinets. If you see swarmers (reproductive ants) flying around your house, it’s a good sign you have an infestation nearby. Sometimes Bigheaded ants will start a colony inside an interior wall. If you suspect there are Bigheaded Ants on your property, call a Virginia Pest Control Professional.

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