The Argentine Ants
The Argentine ant is a small, light to dark brown ant about 1/8 inch (2.6mm) in length. They have been reported to crawl onto people and bite them while they are asleep. Reports from the early 1900’s describe babies being attacked in their cribs.
The Argentine ant is most often confused with the odorous house ant, but the node on the abdomen of the Argentine ant has a sharp, pointed peak, while that of the odorous house ant is flat in shape and is hidden. It may also resemble the Crazy ant and the Small Honey ant, however, the Argentine ant does not have a small circle of hairs on the tip of its abdomen. Argentine ants have multiple queen colonies and the queens will often be found along argentine ant trails. Occasionally, winged queens will be seen in a colony. The Argentine ant is important because it is ideally suited to urban environments. Where it occurs, it can be one of the most difficult pest ants to control.
A single colony of Argentine ants can contain thousands of workers and many queens. The queens in an Argentine ant colony live about 1 year. A typical colony consists of about 90% workers and 10% Queens. Control of Argentine ants typically requires a thorough outdoor baiting treatment.
Outdoor baiting such as KM Ant Pro Ant Feeder Station with Gourmet Ant Bait is the most effective. This combination is currently under evaluation by the USDA, several Universities as well as many Vineyards in the California NAPA Valley and provides the most promising control of argentine ants.
Indoors, treatment of wall voids with Borid Dust usually provide the best results. Indoor baiting with Gourmet Ant Bait Gel or Whitmire Dual Choice is also effective.
Don’ts – Do not spray any repellent spray pesticides around Argentine Ants. Spraying will not kill the queens but will increase the egg laying and will only compound the problem. Only use liquid baits on Argentine Ants outdoors.