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Argentine Ant Identification

  • Length is 1/12 to 1/8 inch long.
  • Black to dark brown in color.
  • Single node in the waist.
  • Antennae has 12 segments.
  • Also called sweet ants, sugar ants, piss ants, tiny black ants.
  • Often travel in heavy trails to food sources within the home (pet food, cereal, food crumbs, food spills, etc.)

Argentine Ant Habits

Although they don’t necessarily cause damage, Argentine ants can quickly take over a structure, and you might find them crawling all over the surfaces in your home. Argentine ants can create a nest almost anywhere. One colony can have several nest sites, which can extend into multiple structures. They often make nests in:

  • Mulch and straw
  • Leaf littler
  • Compost piles
  • Rotting logs and wood piles
  • Under rocks, stones, and potted plants
  • Wall voids

Argentine Ants Food Requirements

During the warm seasons, these ants thrive on the upper parts of trees and plants, feeding off the “honeydew” secretions from aphids and other honeydew-producing insects. Once the weather turns cool, they go in search for more stable environments (often indoors) and other food sources. They are not considered “picky” eaters, and while they prefer sweet honeydew, their dietary needs will change throughout the year, and they’ll feed on meats, fruits, dairy, animal fats, vegetable oils, garbage, carrion, and sewage.

Argentine Ant Management

Argentine ants can be tough to control because of their many possible nesting sites within one structure and property, making it difficult to pinpoint the infestation. However, prevention and proper technique and products can make it much easier to get rid of Argentine ants. Starting treatment and management steps in the spring and summer will help avoid late season populations and less chance the ants will invade your home once winter arrives.

Prevention: As with most outdoor and indoor insects, keeping the yard and landscape well groomed will cut back on a very wide variety of insect pests, including most ants. Keep all vegetation, like bushes and shrubs, trimmed and away from the structure, since the ants can gain easy access to your home this way.  Clean up all leaf litter and yard debris to eliminate possible nesting sites.

Inspection: Before you begin your Argentine ant treatment, begin with an inspection, thoroughly examining the interior and exterior of your home. Try to find the extent and location of the infestation, determine where chemical treatments can be directed, and try to find nest sites.

Chemical Control: There are several types of insecticides formulated to work on Argentine ants, and all work a bit differently to control these ants and each serves its own purpose. An integrated approach, or using multiple techniques, is the best way to control this type of ant.

  • Baits: Ant bait products are the best solution for effective argentine ant control and small black ant control. Ant baits will hit the colony at the source, whereas insecticide dusts or repellent sprays will only cause stress on the colony, causing it to split into a larger number of sub-colonies, making the infestation worse. Baits consist of a slow-acting toxic substance mixed with a food source, which the ants consume. Since ants share their food, baits let the toxic food be shared among the colony, eventually reaching the queen. This type of control is very effective. Place baits where ants are seen foraging both inside and outside. Make sure to place baits out of reach of pets and children. Since the colonies can be extensive, a large amount of bait is often necessary. How do you know which ant bait to use? Choose an ant bait shown below or try following the Honey & Peanut Butter Bait Method. We recommend choosing our Complete Ant Kit to get all the best combination of bait products and tools.
  • Granular products: Granular products are sprinkled on to the target area and then watered in. The weight of the granules help them to reach deeper than a spray product, and once they are watered in, they can penetrate even further into the target area. They’re good for mulch beds and other outdoor areas, and can help repel ants from the treated areas. However, avoid using any repellent product while you are using a bait product, as it will affect the outcome and effectiveness of your bait program.

Liquid Insecticides: Use a spray product outdoors where ants are found nesting. Spray all around where ants can enter or have been found entering your home, like around doors, windows, wall and slab penetrations, etc. For outdoor applications, we recommend using Termidor or Fuse to create a protective barrier around your home. Spray a good barrier of Talstar InsecticideTermidor SC, and Fuse around the perimeter of the home using a gallon sprayer. This will help prevent entry from argentine and little black ants in the future. A fan spray that is at least 3 feet high on the side of the building and 3 to 6 feet out on the ground will provide excellent protection.

  • Customers who spray Talstar as directed above, every three months starting in the early spring (around March or April), generally see a dramatic decrease in the number of ants invading the home.
  • Generally, a spray product isn’t necessary indoors unless you choose not to bait. Indoors, if you choose not to bait, we recommend using Phantom Aerosol.

Ant Control | Argentine Ant Control | How to Get Rid of Argentine Ants


Related Articles:

How to Get Rid of Argentine Ants

Argentine Ant Identification and Biology

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