Argentine ants are a small species of ant, only about a tenth of an inch in length, but they have a large impact worldwide. As their name would suggest, these ants originated in South America, specifically areas in northern Argentina and southern Brazil. However, it now has taken up residence all across the world, and on every continent except Antarctica.
These are a large-colony-forming species of ant, with one European colony spanning almost 4,000 miles! This is one of the reasons they are such a successful invader, as, unlike most other ants, they will not attack ants from nearby nests. These separate nests all end up working together, creating supercolonies. However, they will fight members of different colonies. The borders of these different colonies are an ant warzone, the battlefield sometimes spanning miles. It is believed that these colonies form their allegiances based on their diet, and different diets can be a sign of different colonies.
These ants feed on a wide variety of foods, and are particularly fond of sweets, but they are most problematic due to their invasive nature. As an introduced species with no natural predators, they will often overpower native ant species, which in turn leads to disruptions in animal populations that typically fed on the native ants. They also are caretakers for aphids, which can lead to an increase in agricultural crop damage.
Argentine ants are a common household pest, and will often enter in search of food, water during hot spells, or to escape a flooded nest in wetter seasons. Once these ants enter your home, there is no quick or immediate solution to get rid of them – the most successful control options typically will take a few days at least. In fact, standard pest control sprays can actually have the opposite effect, potentially increasing colony size. Additionally, there are often multiple queens within one colony, so eliminating the queens isn’t a viable control option either. Our Green Pest Control program is a great way to help eliminate these insects from your home, as is the use of slow-acting baits. If a colony of Argentine ants has suddenly moved into your home, give Advanced Wildlife Control a call. Our technicians will help get your home back to being ant-free!
Did You Know?
It is believed that there is a world-wide supercolony of Argentine ants that spans from Japan to California to Europe!