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Pest Guide > Ants > White-footed Ant

White-footed Ant

Technomyrmex albipes

White footed ants appear so successful, and a difficult nuisance to control around homes, because colonies of this species frequently become very large -with upwards of 2 to 3 million individuals

Color: Dark body, usually black; pale yellow tarsi at end of legs
Legs: 6
Shape: One node segment, flattened & hidden under abdomen; uneven thorax
Size: 1/8th inch long
Antennae: Yes

Habits

White-footed ants establish well defined, easy-to-find foraging trails outside infested building. Trails commonly follow structural guidelines, such as edges of sidewalks, edges of brick buildings, ledges and soffit corners. Foragers often move into buildings from trees and shrubs touching walls or roofs. Once inside, workers forage along baseboards above and below carpet edges. White-footed ants prefer sweets. Outdoors, they feed on honeydew and tend aphids, mealy bugs and scales. Throphallaxis (cross feeding) has not been observed in this species. Because of this, baiting programs will not be effective as a stand-alone management program.

Habitat

These ants like to nest in dead wood, but will also invade and short out air conditioners. They nest in piles of lumber, firewood, stones, bricks, trash and heavy vegetation at foundations or in trees. Indoors, they nest in wall voids, potted plants and atriums. A single colony can encompass many sites, both close by and far away from a single nest. These extended colonies exchange workers, brood and food.

Threats

This ant does not bite or sting, or cause any structural damage, but many homeowners consider it a nuisance due to their frequent foraging in kitchens, bathrooms and around exteriors of homes or buildings

Prevention

Eliminate standing water. Pests, such as White Footed Ants are attracted to moisture. Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house. Sometimes pests use these branches to get into your home. Make sure that there are no cracks or little openings around the bottom of your house. Sometimes pests use these to get into your home. Make sure that firewood and building materials are not stored next to your home. Pests like to build nests in stacks of wood.
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