Argentine Ants

Argentine ant workers are approximately 1/8” long and light to dark brown in color. There is one visible node present on the pedicel. Originally from South America, this ant is believed to have entered the U.S. on coffee ships from Brazil and was first recorded in Louisiana in 1891. Since its introduction, the Argentine ant has become established throughout the southern states and in California. Colonies contain multiple queens and are large and expansive, consisting of many nests. Unlike many ant species, members of different Argentine ant colonies are not aggressive toward one another and mix freely among nests, permitting colonies to grow to enormous sizes. Mulch is a perfect nesting substrate for this ant. During the summer, nests located in soil are usually very shallow, only 1-2 inches deep. Nests may be found in all types of piled items, including lumber, rocks, and other debris. Wall voids, insulation, and bath traps may serve as nest sites for this ant. Argentine ants feed on both live and dead insects, as well as honeydew. They may be attracted indoors by many food types, but prefer sweet foods.

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