Controlling argentine ant
infestations by drenching mounds or colonies with Demon, Cynoff
The Argentine ant is a one node, small,
shiny, brown ant with only one size of worker. Workers are usually about 1/12 to 1/8
inch long. The queen ants are much larger, sometimes reaching 1/4 inch in
length. This ant is found throughout the Southeastern United States and Southern
California. They nest outdoors under logs, concrete slabs, debris and mulch.
Argentine ants build very large colonies and can move rapidly. During winter months,
this ant will move indoors.
This ant is successful and hard to
- Different Argentine ant colonies in a same
general locale are not enemies. Even the many queens in a single colony or separate
colonies are friendly to each other.
- Argentine ants are not too
"picky" when choosing a suitable site to infest or colonize. They readily
(as you will read about in "Inspecting for Argentine Ants") move their
nests during the changing seasons and other conditions.
- These pests are omnivorous; they seem to never be in short supply of
- Each colony of Argentine ants contains a multitude of workers.
- Each worker is more courageous and harder worker than most ants.
Creatures that attempt to prey on Argentine ants are confronted with an army of
stubborn bugs that never runs from a fight!
- The queens of most ant species are usually egg-laying machines.
The queen ant of Argentines actually helps in the care, grooming and feeding of her young.
- Most species of ants mate and reproduce by swarming; the Argentine
mates in the colony, unexposed to the perils of birds, frogs, lizards, predator insects
and extreme weather conditions. A swarmer reproductive (as seen with fireants and carpenter ants) has
about 1 chance in 1,000 of surviving and successfully reproducing. The Argentine ant
queen always succeeds!
- This ant pest has no natural enemies (of any importance) in the United
Without proper inspection, you will not kill ants of this type. All
possible nests must be eliminated for ant control. After learning how to inspect for
these pests, go to Argentine
In the Spring,
the nest can be found in open ground with small piles of excavated earth a short distance
from the nest holes. Form boards along sidewalks, patios, driveways, and wooden
objects of any kind are preferred as nesting sites and runways. The area beneath a
plant infested with "ant cows" often will be honey-combed with their
tunnels. The ants may be encountered in great numbers in and under dead and decaying
During warm weather, the Argentines might favor the undersides of houses
and may use the mudsills as their runways, even establishing themselves in the home
itself. During the Summer months, the nests of this ant are very shallow, usually
only one or two inches below the surface of the soil. An occasional exception can be
found in the roots of large trees located in favorable areas to the Argentine ant.
Argentine ants begin to migrate and congregate into super "ant
cities" during Autumn, where you can find hundreds of queens. To locate these
colonies, inspect beneath any ground "clutter" such as piles of construction
materials, boards, sheets of tin or plywood and even decaying plant material. It is
in these warm, protected areas that the Argentine Ant will retreat from the ravages of
Winter months can take their toll on many insect populations, if the insects have not
found a suitable are to retreat. The Argentine ant will many times move their
colonies into man-made structures. Although free standing homes might become targets
of this pest, larger structures (apartment buildings, office buildings, condominiums,
industrial sites, etc.) are more apt to be infested. Possible areas that need
inspection include any warm, hidden areas (moisture often is another key; condensation,
etc.) such as conduit pipes. In homes, hot water lines and areas around hot tubs are
good examples of possible nesting sites.
Spring brings us full circle in the migration of Argentine ants. The huge ant
population breaks up into smaller groups, each containing one or more queen ants.
These smaller groups will migrate to the areas discussed in the Spring
months section of this article. In the case of overcrowding or "false
Spring" you might find a small colony (containing one or two queen ants) trying to
nest beneath a damp mop or wet dish rag and other such places. This is not often
the case, but is well worth remembering when establishing an Integrated Pest Management
(IPM) program or inspecting for possible Argentine ant colonies.
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Eliminating these pests should be done by combining chemical and
non-chemical pest control in an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. For good
pest control, use both methods in concert!
Non-chemical ant control methods
application for eliminating Argentine ants
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Altering conditions which are contributing factors to Argentine ant
infestations is the first order of business. Limiting their access to your home and
restricting moisture in the area will reduce their numbers and make migration (during
seasonal change) more difficult. If possible, make any structural changes that will
reduce condensation (on windows, plumbing, interior walls, etc.) in your home. Do
not allow excessive watering of lawns and flower beds create more moist conditions which
Argentine ants dearly love. Adjust sprinkler heads accordingly.
Remove any objects (such as boards, construction materials, etc.) under which Argentine
ants might try to colonize or hide.
Keeping vegetation to a minimum around your home will help. First, it will make
inspecting for existing colonies easier. If all colonies are not eliminated,
the infestation will constantly reappear and the pests will continue to enter the
structure and spread across the entire property. Excess vegetation also gives the
ant better cover in which to hide. But (and this is important!) the biggest problem
with vegetation close to the home is that it acts as a bridge or highway for the ants to
enter your home. Trim shrubs and trees so that they do not touch the structure.
A two foot clearance is best. Make sure that no tree limbs are any closer
than five feet from the roof.
If possible, use pea-gravel instead of organic material for mulch. Argentine ants
prefer organic materials, large pine bark and other such objects under which they will
hide or colonize.
application for eliminating Argentine ants
Argentine Ant Elimination Summary
Order Products for Argentine
Although Argentine ants will
sometimes accept commercial baits, you will have greater control over the infestation by
using contact insecticides. Baits are best to use only when there is an indoor
infestation and the colonies cannot be located for treating with Delta
Dust or pesticide sprays.
The best active ingredient (i.e.) to use in eliminating Argentine ants is
Cypermethrin. This material is available in Demon EC,
Cynoff EC and Cypermethrin
EC 4 Ounce. Each of these products contain Cypermethrin, each will yield different
Demon EC makes 32 gallons; Cynoff EC makes 64 gallons; Cypermethrin EC makes 8 gallons. For most infestations
of Argentine ants, Cypermethrin 4 Ounce is too small to treat all existing colonies and follow-up with
regular preventative spraying. Most of our customers use Demon or Cynoff for
Argentine Ants and Fire Ants.
Although Cypermethrin is also available in wettable powder formulations (Demon WP, Cynoff
WP,) liquid concentrates (any Cypermethrin in EC form) are more economical when dealing
with ants which have large populations, multiple mounds and large mounds. Liquid
concentrates simply give you more finished product for your money.
If Argentine ants have invaded your home, spray Cypermethrin along baseboards, window
sills, around plumbing or where ants are most often seen. If not, skip down to Outdoor Pesticide Application.
Look for and spray any possible entry point or hiding place. Our Chapin sprayer has an adjustable tip for spraying
entry points and baseboards or for slowly drenching ant mounds. If you have
determined that the ants have established colonies in your walls, it may be necessary to
apply an insecticide dust (Delta Dust is the best) to any
void where you suspect ant or other insect activity. Use a Crusader Duster for applying Delta Dust to wall
voids, cracks and crevices. For smaller infestations, insecticide dust might not be
Once all ant colonies have been located, treating the nests is quite simple. All
visible mounds must be drenched (or soaked) with high volume of Cypermethrin under low
pressure. Simply "fan-spraying" the surface of individual mounds does not
work. Each nest needs to be thoroughly drenched.
All mulch needs to be sprayed. Argentine ants will often thrive in the damp organic
materials we use around our homes and in landscaping. Also spray a barrier around
your home; an area 4 to 6 feet wide around the structure should suffice.
Fan spray all tree trunks and soil adjacent to the trunk. This
will not harm the tree and is perfectly safe for pets and wildlife, when label instruction
are followed and treated areas are allowed to dry. Also, fan spray all
landscape timbers, decorative stones and rocks, or any other object which might look
inviting to Argentine ants.
Order Products for Argentine Ant Elimination
Summary of Argentine Ant Elimination
Use Cypermethrin (Demon EC,
EC 4 Oz.) for spraying inside and out, and for drenching existing mounds and colonies.
Treat beneath any object which might harbor Argentine ants.
Fan-spray tree trunks, mulch and a good ground perimeter around your home.
Treat any crack or crevice that might serve as a hiding place or entry point, both inside
your home and on the outside surface with Demon or Cynoff.
Use Delta Dust in cracks, crevices, hiding places and along plumbing lines when
exterminating indoor ant populations.
How to Order Argentine Ant Elimination Products
Call us, between 8:30 & 4:30
weekdays, Central Time
EC 4 Ounce
Professional Pest Control Products
6920 Pine Forest Rd.
Pensacola, FL 32526
elimination Argentine ant biology,