What are Argentine Ants?
Argentine ants are an invasive species of ant that is found in and around our homes in Elk Grove, Sacramento, and Roseville. They take over from native species of ants in an aggressive manner and are a massive problem when it comes to residential and commercial pest control services. They are the dominant ant in Northern California and are only 2-3mm in length with a light to the dark brown shade in color.
Where do you find Argentine Ants?
The Argentine Ant is now found on all continents on earth. A highly invasive species originated in South America (thus the name) and were introduced to the U.S in approximately the 1890s through coffee ships coming from Brazil. Since then they have flourished, expanding across all of North America.
What threats do Argentine Ants pose?
Argentine ants pose a serious threat to native wildlife and to the human population. They disturb the natural food chain and through their sheer numbers in colonies, exterminating other ants and demolishing food and water sources in quick succession. They do not stay in a permanent location for long, only until the last piece of food and water has been diminished. They are hard to track as their colonies shift on to the next food source. Although they are a smaller species of ant, they easily overpower native ant species through their sheer numbers. These pests are relentless and can exterminate much larger species, even ones with stingers.
But Argentine ants don’t only pose a threat to other ant species, they attack any form of life that they think is in their way. They have been known to drive out paper wasp nests, killer bees, adult birds from their nests while they devour the young, and all species of termites. They really are a tiny terror when it comes to pest control in Elk Grove, Sacramento, and Roseville.
How do Argentine Ants invade?
It is due to their sheer numbers that Argentine Ants take over from other native insects. A highly territorial creature, they will even team up with other colonies of Argentine ants nearby to form a supercolony and go about exterminating other pests in the area.
How did I get Argentine Ants?
The Argentine Ant is only interested in one thing, finding the next source of food and water. Your home is the perfect location for these invasive ants to target as there is an endless supply of both provided you keep up to date on your grocery shopping habits. As they have originated in South America the Argentine Ant prefers warm climates. That is why in Sacramento during the winter months when it cools down and gets chilly they will try to get into your warm and cozy home. They naturally prefer the outdoors but won’t think twice about setting up shop inside your residential or commercial property. Argentine ants are opportunistic nesters. They do not put a lot of work into creating their nest because they pick up and move quickly as food sources dwindle or there is a threat to the colony. They simply will nest under cement walkways, rocks, flower pots, ground covering (weed block), etc.
What do Argentine Ants eat?
Argentine ants simply eat anything and everything that is in the form of organic matter. You name it and they eat it. This includes sugar, syrup, juices, eggs (specifically the yolk), rodents, birds, insects, vomit, feces, and foliage. They are not picky and if their scouts find a food source they will send word to the others.
What are the signs of an Argentine Ant infestation?
The signs of a present Argentine Ant infestation are obvious. You will notice long single columns of ants marching back and forth from a close-by food or water source. They stay on this track by excreting a pheromone scent that scouts leave, which leads the others to follow.
Are there positives to Argentine Ant infestations?
One of the only positives to Argentine Ants is that they can wipe out other species that pose structural damage to your home, like the dry wood termite. As we have mentioned already these highly aggressive ants do not let anyone stand in their way of dominance, and this will come at the expense of dry wood termites. But the negatives far outweigh the positives for this pest’s presence. Argentine ants also protect and defend Aphids on plants. The honeydew produced by the Aphids is a highly sought after food source for the Argentine ant.
How do I get rid of Argentine Ants?
To get rid of Argentine Ants it is best to hire a local pest control company, as they can be quite difficult. Simply squishing these little pests will not suffice, as you will be overwhelmed with the number of them. Ant bait traps are not that effective either, as the method of baiting them depends on the worker ants bringing back the poisoned food to their queen, thereby killing them at the source. This method won’t work with these ants, as there are multiple queens, it is estimated that for every 1,000 workers there are 300 queens. They quickly multiply and replace fallen queens.
Argentine ants also switch their food sources between carbohydrates and proteins, so the bait needs to be slow releasing. If a portion of the colony eating from a specific food source begins to die off they will stop feeding on that food source. Baiting is not a viable option unless the homeowner is willing to be extremely patient. It can take weeks or more living with ants until the correct bait is identified and accepted by the ants. The bait must then be passed throughout the colony very slowly so as not to cause the ants to stop feeding on it.
The Pegasus Pest Method For Argentine Ant Control
The only effective control is to locate and eliminate the Argentine ant colony. Assuming they are not nesting in a wall, expansion joint in a garage, or a crack in the slab foundation of the home a trail must be located outside. Once the trail is located it must be followed through the landscaping to the nest. This is not as easy as it sounds. This often involves getting on your hands and knees and digging through grass, shrubbery and bark or rocks. Weed blocking material must be pulled back and inspected underneath. Argentine ants may also be climbing up a tree that overhangs the house or a power pole and coming into the home from the roof. Argentine ants have also been known to nest in the debris built up in gutters leaving no trail to locate outside. Once the nest is found the control material needs to be applied very slowly, filling the nest without collapsing the tunnels to ensure 100% elimination.
Argentine Ant Control Experts in Sacramento
If you have noticed a trail of these little terrors around your home we would highly recommend you give us a call toll-free on (888) 885-5017. You can also find our online contact form here. If you’re in need of an experienced pest control company in Elk Grove, Sacramento or Roseville call us now! For more information on the different types of ants found in our area, you can check out our blog post here.