Bigheaded Ant Facts
There are over 1,000 species of bigheaded ants in the world, including several different species within the United States. Bigheaded ants have two different sized workers, the larger “major” workers and the smaller “minor” workers. These ants are known for the unproportionately large head of the major workers.
They are more common as structural pests in warmer areas of the United States, especially in Hawaii and Florida.
Bigheaded Ant Bites
Bigheaded ants rarely bite people and don’t have the ability to sting. These ants will only bite if they think their nest is in danger. Bigheaded ant bites are essentially painless.
Bigheaded Ant Infestation
Bigheaded ants will build their colonies in the soil near or under almost any object that comes in contact with the ground. You will find colonies under stones, patios and firewood. They will nest in leaf litter or mulch, or within the cracks in bark, fences and walls. You can even find colonies that have formed in termite-damaged wood.
Bigheaded ants traditionally eat seeds and other insects. They have large mandibles, special mouthparts used for crushing food. The ants use their mandibles to crack seed husks or break through the hard exoskeleton of insects. In your house, these ants will be most attracted to protein-rich foods like meat and peanut butter, but they also enjoy sweets like syrup or fruit juice.
The colonies of bigheaded ants are usually smaller, about 200 to 300 ants, but sometimes they will create large extended colonies. A colony has multiple queens and mating flights most often take place midsummer.
Types of Bigheaded Ants
Bigheaded Ant Identification
Bigheaded ant species range from 1/16 to 1/4-inch long and vary in color from shades of yellow and red to shades of brown or black. The tip of bigheaded ant antenna are clubbed and they have a stinger. Some species of bigheaded ants release an odor similar to feces as a defense mechanism when they are frightened.
Bigheaded Ants In The Home & The Garden
When bigheaded ants have found a food source in your home, you will probably see them in large numbers, making it easy to tell when there is a bigheaded ant infestation.
Bigheaded ants primarily live outside, so if you find a bigheaded ant in your home they most likely came from a nesting site outdoors. Check the areas near your foundation and patio for the displaced soil from a colony under construction. You may also notice trails of ants walking up the side of the house or along the sidewalk.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do bigheaded ants bite?
Bigheaded ants can bite, but only if provoked and the bites are not painful for people. They do not sting.
How do you get rid of bigheaded ants?
The key to successfully getting rid of a bigheaded ant infestation is to first find the colonies. This includes a comprehensive inspection of your home and property to identify favorable conditions for ants as well as entry points to the nesting sites.
The treatment includes materials that will flush the ants out of their colonies combined with the appropriate baits that will recruit the ants to help with eradicating the colony.
Benefits of Professional Bigheaded Ant Pest Control
A pest management professional has the education, equipment and skills necessary to effectively address a bigheaded ant problem. Finding and treating the ant colony can be challenging, especially if the main colony is hidden somewhere outside in the lawn. A pest management professional provides their expertise to identify the pest problem and determine the best possible solution to resolve the bigheaded ant infestation.