South Carolina is already home to several ant species, and Argentine ants are adding to that number. These invasive ants are becoming more of a problem for SC homeowners due to their large colonies. You’ll need Hilton Head Island pest control services if have an Argentine ant infestation in your home, so it’s important to learn more about this species.

Where Argentine Ants Came From

Argentine ants weren’t always in SC. These ants came to the US on ships arriving from South American countries, including Argentina, in the late 1800s. Although they started out in New Orleans, these ants have made their way to SC over the years. They’re also found in other southern states, along with California.

Identifying Argentine Ants

How can you tell if you’re seeing Argentine ants or another type of ant? Argentine ants have a light or dark brown coloring, and workers grow to be around 1/16th of an inch long. Queen Argentine ants can grow to 1/8th of an inch long. These ants have an uneven thorax and don’t have stingers. However, they’re able to bite if you disturb them. Argentine ants are sometimes confused with odorous house ants, since they also emit an odor when their bodies are crushed.

Argentine Ant Colonies

Argentine ants typically build very large colonies. In fact, these colonies can number into the hundreds or even thousands of workers. Argentine ant colonies have several queens that are responsible for laying eggs. These queens are able to produce thousands of eggs each season. In some cases, mated females leave the main colony with several workers to establish another colony nearby.

Habitat and Behavior of Argentine Ants

Argentine ants tend to eat sweet foods, including honeydew, although their diet includes many other types of food. These ants have been known to eat meat, eggs, fruits and even sewage and dead animals.

When Argentine ants live outside, they build nests in damp areas that are sheltered, such as rotted wood or refuse piles. These ants can also build nests under home foundations. When Argentine ants live inside, they typically look for areas that offer water, such as pipes or dishwashers. You might also find them in or around other appliances, on clothing and other places in your home.

Pest Control for Argentine Ants

Argentine ants are among the more difficult ant species to control. These ants require a lot of time and effort to eliminate due to their large colony sizes. If these infestations aren’t handled thoroughly, they can come back again and again. It’s best for you to let Hilton Head Island pest control professionals take care of Argentine ant infestations in order to ensure that the colony is completely eliminated. This might involve using baits, traps or other methods of pest control to destroy the colony.

Argentine Ant Prevention

Since Argentine ant infestations are so hard to deal with, you should take steps to keep these pests out of your home. You can do this in several ways, such as getting rid of refuse piles and other items that these ants can use for nesting. Other ways to reduce your risk of an infestation include closing up small cracks in your home’s exterior, especially near your windows and doors.

You can also prevent infestations by storing your food in sealed containers that these ants can’t get into and making sure that you don’t have any leaks inside your home. Cutting back tree branches near your home can also make it harder for Argentine ants to make their way inside.

If you have an Argentine ant problem in your home, please contact Island Pest Control. Our Hilton Head Island pest control services can eliminate these ants from your home.