This is a very
small and slender ant which is omnivorous and a native of S. America,
it is now well established in the U.K. and Europe in heated buildings
and is very hard to eradicate. This is one of the species of ant
which does not swarm, instead the ants spread by fragmentation of the
colony. This ant is about 4 mm long.
Control of Argentine
ants are difficult to control for the following reasons:
are holometabolous (complete metamorphosis), having an egg, larval,
pupal, and adult stage. Foraging adult ants are only a fraction of
the total colony. Broadcast spraying around the perimeter of the house
targets only the foraging adult ants in the colony. Control will be
temporary since the colony will simply send out more foraging ants
when others are killed.
supports multiple queens if ant populations are large. If a broadcast
spray around the house is the primary method of control, the Argentine
ant workers and queens will scatter. When the ants scatter in sufficient
numbers, new colonies can be formed. The one main colony can split
into several smaller ones, all of which have the potential to grow.
Thus, broadcast spraying alone can make the problem worse.
many other ant species, Argentine ants from different colonies do
not fight. Therefore, their spread is less limited because they are
their large colony size, they are quite mobile and can move from one
area to another quickly. A broadcast spray may temporarily alleviate
an Argentine ant infestation. But there is a good possibility that
the ants will simply move to another area until the chemical breaks
down. After the chemical breaks down, the ants will return because
they are constantly scouting and foraging for food, water, and nesting
mulch against the walls of houses creates pockets of moisture that
these ants need.
are a favorite nesting site. Moving infested pots into the house can
create an indoor infestation.
Argentine ants on the move
combine to create a pest control nightmare. Argentine ant control is
an on-going effort. Due to the large size of colonies and their rapid
mobility, even if one colony is eliminated, another will move into the
area over time.
IPM Control Program:
An Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
approach offers a greater chance for control of the Argentine ant. An
IPM approach incorporates all available control methods into a pest
management program. IPM methods include identification, inspection,
sanitation, exclusion, and chemical strategies.
of The Ideal Ant Bait:
1. Slow-Acting Toxicant.
2. Non-Repellent Toxicant.
3. Preferred Food Source.
Baits work because they exploit the
ants' behavior of sharing food and nutrients with other ants. Passing
nutrients from one ant to another is called trophallaxis. If food contains
a slow-acting toxicant and the ant does not detect it, the toxicant
is passed throughout the colony by trophallaxis, before killing its
members, including the queen.
Ant baits work only if the ants eat
the bait. Eliminate any alternate food sources by keeping counters clean
and storing food in sealed containers.
Good pest control operators have the
training, equipment, and materials necessary to perform ant control
safely and effectively. You may prefer to have all of your pest control
done by a professional because effective pest management required extensive
knowledge of IPM tactics.
If you do contract the services of a
pest control operator, ask questions about the plan to control your
pest problems and get estimates from at least three reputable firms
before choosing one.
pesticides ONLY according to the directions on the label. Follow all
directions, precautions, and restrictions that are listed. Do not use
pesticides for any other use than as directed by the label.