Argentine ants have a habit of moving into homes and yards. These ants live in large colonies, which can make infestations difficult to control. Being able to correctly identify these pests will make it easier to keep them away. Check out how to identify and eliminate an argentine ant infestation.
How Do You Identify Argentine Ants?
Argentine ants grow between 1/16ʺ-1/4ʺ. They range in color from light brown to black. These ants have a shiny, smooth, oval-shaped body. Argentine ants have mandibles with several teeth. Queen ants are larger than workers and male ants. Though reproductive ants may have wings, workers don’t. These ants release a musty odor when crushed.
Do Argentine Ants Bite?
Argentine ants do not have stingers and only bite humans when they are provoked or threatened. Their bites are harmless, however, and not a health risk to humans.
Are Argentine Ants Harmful to Humans?
Argentine ants are more of a nuisance than a threat to humans. They breed quickly, and their colonies can contain hundreds of thousands of ants. Several colonies can be interconnected creating super colonies. This can lead to large infestations. These ants will invade homes looking for food. If they crawl through trash and then on food or counters, they can transfer bacteria.
Where Do You Find Argentine Ants?
Argentine ants like to nest in damp environments. Outside, they nest in moist soil, mulch, leaf litter, and under logs and plants. When temperatures drop or their environment becomes too dry, these ants will move indoors. They gravitate to areas near water. Potted plants, leaky pipes, and behind appliances are possible hiding spots. They also nest in walls and under floors. Argentine ants are commonly seen in southern states, but some have been spotted farther north.
How Did Argentine Ants Get Into My Home?
Ants are opportunistic, and they’ll enter homes through any cracks and holes they can find. These ants are also resourceful. If tree branches, plants, or shrubs are touching the side of your house, they can use them as a bridge to get into your home. Once inside, it will be hard to get them to leave if they find moisture and food.
Signs of an Argentine Ant Infestation
Argentine ants travel in well-defined trails that can be wide. You can spot these trails in your yard and in your home. Sometimes ant trails will be seen on trees and walls. Another way to identify argentine ants is their smell. When crushed, these ants release a musty odor.
How Do You Prevent Argentine Ants?
Eliminating potential attractants is a great way to keep ants and other pests out of your home. Here are a few tips to help prevent argentine ants.
- Remove Food Sources: Argentine ants enter homes looking for their next meal. They like sweets but also eat proteins, fats, and oily things. Clean up food and drink spills as soon as they happen. Keep food in tightly sealed containers. Regularly take out the trash.
- Eliminate Moisture: These ants love damp environments. Minimizing moisture build-up can help keep them away. Eliminate standing water around your home by emptying flowerpots, buckets, and other items that collect water. Repair or replace leaky pipes and faucets.
- Trim Vegetation: Trim plants so they aren’t touching the side of your house. This will make it harder for ants to sneak into your home.
- Clean Your Yard: Store firewood at least 20 feet away from your house. Remove yard debris including grass clippings, leaf litter, and logs.
- Seal Entry Points: Examine your home for cracks and gaps and seal any you find. Repair or replace damaged door and window screens.
- Create a Protective Barrier: Spraying the perimeter of your home and yard with a plant-based insecticide spray can help keep ants away. Our Yard Bug Spray kills ants on contact and provides residual repellency. These repellent properties act as a barrier helping to deter ants from entering your home.
How Do You Get Rid of Argentine Ants?
Baits and sprays can help to get rid of ants. We’ve gathered information about each option to help you choose the best solution.
Ant baits are a good long-term and reliable way to eliminate an ant problem because they target the source of the infestation—the colony. Our No Spill Ant Kill and Ant Killer Bait attract and kill argentine ants. Ants eat the bait and take it back to the nest to share with the colony. Place the bait near trails of foraging ants or in areas where you have seen ant activity. You can also place bait near nests if you can locate them. Keep an eye on the bait. You may need to replace it depending on the severity of the infestation. As long as ants are coming to the bait, you’ll know it’s working.
Another option when dealing with invading ants is a plant-based insecticide spray. Sprays work well as a spot treatment. They can be used indoors or outside. Our Ant & Roach Killer spray kills and repels argentine ants. You can also use our Home Bug Spray. It not only kills ants and other pests on contact, it also has repellent properties. Spraying common entry points can help to prevent bugs from sneaking into your home.
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