Argentine Ant

Category:

Actual Size: 2.2 to 2.8 mm

Characteristics: Light to very dark brown.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: The reproductive males and females have wings.

Habitat: Builds nests near water sources. Outdoors, nests are located beneath boards, stones, or at the base of shrubs. Indoors, will build nests in wall voids and insulation.

Habits: 

  • Attracted to wet environments near food sources.
  • Very efficient foragers that follow regular trails when searching for food.
  • Contaminate food and spread bacteria as they forage for food in pantries and kitchens.

Argentine Ants in Knoxville TN

Argentine ants are major household and garden pests and are common in the Knoxville area. When searching for food, they leave pheromone trails everywhere they go, instead of just from nest to food source. This habit ensures they do not waste time visiting the same area twice. Workers from different colonies are not aggressive toward each other, allowing them to form a large supercolony, often linked by dense trails. They are ranked among the most stubborn home-infesting pests, contaminating and spreading bacteria wherever they forage. 

Argentine Ant Habitats

Argentine ant nests are typically located in moist areas near a food source. Setting up quarters anywhere close to food, they nest in the ground, concrete wall cracks, and at the base of trees. In temperate weather, Argentine ants are usually found outdoors next to sidewalks, gardens, plants, or underneath stones or boards. When the weather gets too dry or too wet, these ants invade homes through cracks and crevices and are found near water pipes, sinks, and potted plants. Once inside, they will forage for food, feeding on meat, eggs, oils, fats, and sweet items like fruit.

Argentine Ant Behaviors, Threats or Dangers

Argentine ants are very aggressive, and although not poisonous, will bite people. An invasive species, Argentine ants are well organized socially and are particularly aggressive toward other insect populations due to their sheer numbers. Argentine ants cooperate with each other, causing damage to homes as they build supercolonies, and invade nearby homes in large numbers. If you suspect an Argentine ant infestation, it is recommended to contact a professional ant exterminator.