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Ants


Red Ant

ANTS: Argentine (Iridomyrmex humilis)

Description:

The most common ant in Southern California is the Argentine Ant. They are small, a little more than an 1/8th of an inch long, with light brown or shiny black bodies and are typically seen traveling in large numbers.

Biology:
The Argentine Ant are the most persistent and problematic ant in our environment. Argentine Ants are very aggressive and will drive out or even kill other ant species from their territory. They prefer to nest in the damp soil of landscapes, under rocks, ground covers, walkways and even in a crack of a concrete slab. They also commonly nest in the sheaths of palm and under plastic landscape sheeting.

Along with some other varieties of ants, Argentine Ants display the fascinating habit of “herding” aphids for food. The ants protect and take care of the aphids and in turn the ants harvest the honeydew secretions from their aphid herd.Argentine Ants are known for their huge colonies with seemingly endless trails going in and around structures, invading everything in sight in search of food.

Did You Know?

Leading entomologists believe that these colonies are actually part of one giant supercolony that spans 560 miles from San Diego to San Francisco. Some scientists believe that the colony may contain nearly one trillion ants!Their colossal numbers can overwhelm a lunchroom, kitchen or office space. Ants find their way in through even the smallest cracks and crevices and will travel up trees, bushes, or even across telephone wires to enter a building.

Impact:
While ants are not typically dangerous to structures, their presence can be very disruptive to the people working or living in the buildings they invade.

Solutions:
The best way to stop an ant invasion is catching it early. A regular monthly inspection by a professional is key to eliminating the chance of a massive influx of ants in the summer.

Additional Links:
http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7411.html