Big-headed ants are light brown to dark reddish brown, an have two sizes of workers. One size is 1/8 inch long, has an enormous head and is sometimes called a seed cracker worker. The minor workers (1/16 inch) do not have enlarged heads but can be recognized by the shape of their heads, which narrow abruptly behind the eyes. Big headed ants have two nodes on their pedicel, one pair of spines on its thorax and a 12-segmented antennae with a 3-segmented club.
Big-headed ants are found in warmer and dryer sections of the United States, and have very similar habits to fire ants. Nests are found in exposed soil or under cover and in rotting wood. They rarely nest indoors, but may invade homes to forage for food. Big-headed ants prefer meats, greases and breads. They superficially resemble fire ants but can be distinguished from them by the presence of 12 segments in the antenna, with a 3-segmented antennal club.
These ants can be found nesting in the soil around homes in many areas of the United States. They have become a persistent problem in the South, with reports of workers invading homes in their search for food.
Items in contact with the soil (logs, stones, firewood, debris) should be lifted to check for ant colonies. Piles of displaced soil should always be noted as these indicate the presence of an ant colony. Along foundations, big-headed ants have a habit of using the crack between the soil and the foundation to nest; flooding the crack with water will quickly reveal a nest location. Nests in potted plants are common and can result in colonies being carried inside. Most indoor infestations of big-headed ants tend to originate from outdoors. When inspecting for big-headed ants outdoors, grass and other vegetation should be pulled or raked away from the foundation of the structure, along driveways, landscaping, sidewalks and fences. Ant colonies are often found in the soil beneath the grass.
Ant elimination: Locate and eliminate all possible nesting sites or colonies of big-headed ants.
If the outdoor nests of Big-headed ants cannot be located, but the ants have become an indoor pest, baits must be used. For large, persistent or chronic infestations use a combination of Drax ant bait gel and Maxforce FG. For smaller indoor problems, use Drax ant bait alone.
If the Big-headed ant colonies (or nests) can be located, it is best to eliminate the colonies by drenching soil nests with Demon, Cynoff or Cypermethrin EC 4 Oz.. All of these products contain Cypermethrin, the #1 product for professionals when eliminating ants, roaches, spiders and other pests. These insecticides are available in various sizes and different forms: wettable powders and emulsifiable concentrates. Choose the size and form that best suits your pest control and ant elimination needs.
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