Argentine AntsIdentifying Argentine Ants they have a lighter brown coloring to them.  This ant is smaller at just 1/10” inch in length.  Their body size is very thin compared to other ant species.  This ant species is typically very large in size and could possible contain hundreds of queens.  A typical Argentine Ant colony can consist of 10% queens and the remaining 90% of workers.  Every time a queen ant and a few amount of workers migrate to a new nesting site a new colony is formed.  Over the colder winter months, if necessary, several smaller Argentine Ant colonies will join together and form one very large colony. 

Argentine Ants will feed on a variety of food sources, including sweets, oils, fruit, dairy, meats, animal fats and yes, honeydew.  Because Argentine Ants have the ability to produce a continuous chemical trail as they travel, this ability allows them to forage for food sources day or night.  This process ensures that they will always be able to cover new areas when they are in search of food and not waste efforts covering the same areas.  Once they have found a new food source, they will reinforce this chemical trail placement in order to recruit more workers to assist in collecting the food. 

Because of their sheer size and numbers, the colonies can become so big that they can take control of other ant species nests and push them out and take over their nests.  This process typically occurs due to the fact that their colonies are so large they consume their food supplies very quickly and forces them to search for other food sources.

In general, this ant species does not nest indoors unless they are in search of a new food source.  Otherwise, this ant species can be found nesting in refuse piles, around the perimeter of homes, loose dirt or soil, mulch, stones and around the foundation of homes.   

What do I need to know about Argentine Ants as a New Jersey homeowner?

Although this ant species is very rare in New Jersey, there has been a progression from the states south of New Jersey.  Because of the very large numbers that Argentine Ant colonies can create, if they find their way indoors, they can be an incredible pest problem for homeowners.