What You Should Know About Rover Ants and How to Get Rid of Them
Rover ants (Brachymyrmex spp.) are difficult pests to control, though in the past, they were rarely considered as a nuisance. In recent years, these ants have expanded their presence more and more.
One reason for this is that Rover ants are another very adaptable species, able to survive in a wide variety of sites, especially in “disturbed” habitats.
How do You Identify Rover Ants?
Rover ants (often referred to as “Dark Rover ants”) vary in color from pale yellow to a dark, brown/black, with “uneven” shaped bodies, and usually measure 1/16″ to 1/12″; in length. The winged Rover ants are usually the most visible.
Outdoors, these very tiny ants live in yard litter, trash piles, cinder blocks, and mulch. They are most prevalent in populated areas that see a lot of human activity. Rover ants are attracted to moisture, so it is common to see them near swimming pools or overwatered gardens.
Rover ants do not bite or sting, nor are they known to be carriers of any diseases. Since their infestations can be so difficult to control, these ants can become major nuisances indoors. They are often confused with other ant species, leading to improper treatments.
Colonies are small, ranging from only hundreds into the thousands of Rover ants per colony, with only one queen.
A major food source for Rover ants appears to be the honeydew produced by underground aphids and mealybugs that feed on plant roots. These ants also require protein and have been known to feed on dead insects, meats, and other sweets. They can frequently be seen foraging for food around trash receptacles.
Where do You Find Rover Ants?
Rover ants are found primarily throughout the Gulf Coast (southeastern) states, and as far west as Arizona and Nevada. These pests are frequently found in bathrooms and kitchens during the hot, dry summer months, seeking out moisture. You can often find them roaming around in soil or potted plants.
Like Crazy ants, these ants may also nest in electrical outlets, light sockets, and wall voids.
How Did Rover Ants Get in My Home?
Being so adaptable to so many varying habitats, Rover ant colonies can easily move indoors on the lookout for food, moisture, and harborage when they need to. These ants will often enter your home through cracks, gaps, and crevices in the home’s foundation and through any other entryway they may find.
Is a Rover Ant Problem Serious?
Rover ants pose no known health threat, and they do not bite or sting. They do not ingest wood and they do not cause any kind of structural damage to structures. They are quite a nuisance, however, being difficult to eradicate, and easily able to infest your home, as well as businesses and hospitals.
Do You Have a Rover Ant Infestation?
Colonies are usually found in the soil or in rotting wood. They are also known to nest in wall voids, potted plants, other harborage areas. Rover ant infestations can be quite bothersome when they nest indoors.
If you are noticing large numbers of Rover ants around your house, you may have an infestation to deal with.
How Do You Get Rid of Rover Ants?
Rover ant infestations can best be managed by locating and treating any colonies you can locate inside your home.
Outdoors, place ant bait stations, like Maggie’s Farm No Spill Ant Kill bait stations or gel bait, like Maggie’s Farm Ant Killer gel bait near foraging trails close to the nest. Maggie’s Farm ant baits can wipe out entire colonies of ants, without the mess of other liquid baits. Foraging worker ants find the bait stations or bait droplets you’ve put out for them, then will go back and share it with the rest of the colony. Works well indoors and outdoors.
Indoors, Maggie’s Farm No Spill Ant Kill stations can be used on counter tops, in corners, and in any other areas where ant activity has been seen. Remove/wipe up any other food sources when baiting, and do NOT spray areas with bait with any ant killer sprays. You want them to eat the bait and take it back to their nest.
Sprays can be used indoors and outdoors, work well as a spot treatment for Fire ants you see, as well as for killing Rover ants nesting in cracks, crevices, baseboards, and wall voids. Maggie’s Farm Ant & Roach Killer spray not only kills Rover ants, it also kills other species of ants (including Carpenter ants) , bed bugs, cockroaches, spiders, ticks, fleas, and a variety of other crawling pests. Keep in mind that sprays are not the best long-term solutions (as they only kill ants you can see, not the source of the problem, which is the colony). Sprays can help curb ant populations in the short-term, however.
Maggie’s Farm Yard Bug Spray can be used around the perimeter of your house to create a repellent barrier of protection by preventing Rover ants from getting inside. It will also kill them on contact. Plan to repeat spraying about every 45 –60 days.
Dusts also work well as an ant contact killer, if you can find the colony/nest. Try Maggie’s Farm Spider & Insect Dust. For Rover ants, CAREFULLY puff dust into wall voids where you might suspect a nest. Repeat a few days later if there is still ant activity.
How Do You Prevent Rover Ants?
Since Rover ant infestations are associated with moisture and fungal decay, so eliminating these issues can go a long way to keeping Rover ants (and many other pests) under control. Replace wood damaged by water, and treat nesting areas in damp areas underneath rocks, debris, and landscaping timbers. Sealing any and all entrance points around the outside of your home (cracks, crevices, holes, etc.) that ants and other pests might use to gain access indoors is a good, long-term approach.
- Keep food items secured and pet food off of the floors. Wipe up spills, crumbs, and keep the sink free of dirty dishes. Keep trash sealed and remove every day.
- You can replace aphid-friendly plantings with other types of plants.
- Trim tree and shrub branches should well away from the side of your home and roof.
- Clean out rain gutters, trim your lawn short, and clear out lawn litter.
- Repair water leaks indoors and outdoors, and replace rotting wood when serious enough (or at least ventilate it and dry it well).
Correcting moisture conditions results in Rover ants going elsewhere.
For Serious Infestations, Call a Professional
If you are feeling overwhelmed with a Rover ant problem, call a pest control company.
For more general help with ants, read the following articles:
What are your Rover ant control go-to tips and tricks? Leave us a comment below! We want to hear from you!
For scientifically-tested, effective ant control in your home, yard, and garden that is friendly to the environment, try Maggie’s Farm pest control products. Our promise is that our plant and mineral-based products are developed by scientists and seasoned pest control professionals to be the most effective.