Ant of Argentine Origin
The Argentine ant is a species of ant known for its hostility. They disrupt the natural order of things in the area by eliminating or driving out the native ant population. It is common for plants to rely on local ants to help spread their seeds. Ants are an essential food source for indigenous animals, including lizards and spiders.
Ag production is also negatively impacted by these ants. They are a barrier between the harmful plant and flower pests and their natural enemies. Honeydew is a delicious secretion that the bugs offer to the Argentine ants as thanks for protecting them.
The scientific community refers to Argentine ant colonies as “super colonies” because they do not engage in intercolonial competition. They frequently develop a super settlement through a combination of swarming and cooperation.
Because of the striking similarity in their genomes, Argentine ants relocated from one colony to another and quickly integrated into the new community.
Why You Should Take Action Regarding Argentine Ants
When these Argentine ants enter your home, you have a severe problem. They will not only create a big colony in your yard, but they may even opt to go inside.
They won’t limit their sugary assault to only chocolate, though. Argentine ants can damage home appliances and wiring. This includes air conditioners, heat pumps, washing machines, and telephone connections. They can also cause damage to garments by squeezing their way inside.
Having a garden is great, but if these critters decide to make it their home, you must take the necessary steps to eliminate them. The health of your plants or blossoms will suffer otherwise.
Learning to Recognize Argentine Ants
You should verify that the ants you find are, in fact, the invasive Argentine ants before setting out on a search. They may be just some friendly neighborhood ants passing through.
It’s not hard to recognize an Argentine ant. The foraging worker ants you see most often are around three millimeters long, but the queens are double that. The worker caste of ants is typically spotted and ranges in color from light to dark brown. All insects, including ants, are made up of a head, a thorax, and an abdomen.
There is a prominent hump or node on the thorax, just in front of the abdomen, and the antennae of these ants are heavily elbowed. Even when viewed from the side, their thorax has a wavy surface. The musky stench they give off when squashed is another feature that sets these ants apart.
Once the ants have been positively recognized as Argentine ants, you can eliminate the problem.
How to Effectively Eliminate Argentine Ants
Argentine ants are notoriously difficult to eradicate, unlike other common household pests. Spraying the problem with a can of Raid or another insecticide won’t solve it and may make matters worse for the Argentine ants.
It’s not that conventional insecticides can’t kill these ants—many of them will. The most common type of ant, the worker, is the target of the pesticide. The queens of Argentine supercolonies of ants will start laying more eggs as a defense mechanism against the population fall.
Ants will panic and disperse to new areas of your home if they encounter any traces of insecticide left behind. By spraying a pesticide, it’s possible that you’ll make matters even worse.
You may have heard that eliminating the queen is the only way to get rid of these pests. That’s right, but unlike Elmer Fudd, you don’t have to raze your home to the ground for the queen or queens. Bait, a slow sort of poison that the worker ants will mistake for food and carry back to their lair, is the most excellent approach to kill those queen ants.
Eradicating Argentine Ants
You should start using a slow-acting bait poison on the Argentine ants now that you know it will kill them. Commercially available toxins for Argentine traps are plentiful. Boric acid, sometimes known as borax, is the toxic element in those baits. These baits, designed to entice the ants into transporting the food back to their colony, are disguised as sweets.
Depending on the population, these poisons may take up to a week to completely eradicate the Argentine ants from your property. Find their ant trails and put the poison near them for maximum effect.
Boric acid kills ants slowly in two different methods. First, it causes severe dehydration, which ultimately leads to death. Without adequate hydration, boric acid crystallizes in the body, lacerating the digestive tract.
Humans and animals can safely consume small amounts of borax, but ingesting too much can be lethal. Keep it where children and animals can’t get to it. Talcum powder is an efficient approach to eliminate or at least control Argentine ants if you don’t want to use chemicals. While talcum powder won’t kill ants on contact, it does make them avoid the area in the future. The cheap powder can effectively deter ants from returning to a region after being sprinkled on ant trails and at entry points.
Preventing Invasion by Argentine Ants
You need to take precautions to keep these pests out of your house to stop them from invading again. Use sealants to close any gaps. Remember that an Argentine ant can squeeze through a hole just one millimeter in diameter. Check the glass, the doors, and the walls. It’s also essential to fill in the gaps between planks made of wood.
If you can’t seal something off, you should put up screens. Doors and windows with screens should be checked for holes or tears and fixed or replaced. Looking for entry points in your basement is also a good idea. It’s important to remember that these bugs prefer dark, damp places to nest in the wild.
Have a burning curiosity? How to Get Rid of Argentine Ants and Just About Anything Else You Can Think of Is Described in Detail.