Ants are probably some of the most bothersome bugs in our backyards. They invade our soda can, our bag of chips, and our sandwich in no time. Besides at the monthly picnic however, ants usually keep to themselves and go unnoticed, but there are some species of ants that seem to look for trouble. The following ants are some of the most dominant and invasive pests of the bug world.
When thinking of pesky ants the most common that comes to mind is the Red Imported Fire Ant. Originally from Brazil and other nearby South American countries, this notorious ant was accidentally introduced into the United States in the 1930’s through Alabama cargo shipments. Today these ants can be found in backyards all across the southern United States from the Florida swamps to the California coast.
Fire ants are a nuisance to people in the United States. When introduced to America years ago, the fire ants began to thrive much more easily than in their native South American lands. The ant’s natural predators didn’t make the journey to the States, thus allowing the ants to gain control of the area; and control they sure have taken. Fire ants dominate most other ant species, which is why they’re so common and so disliked. However, there are some ant species, which happen to be on this list, that have a strong resistance against the Red Imported Fire Ant.
Another reason that fire ants are considered pests is because of the amount of electrical damage they cause each year. In the U.S., that number stacks in the millions. These ants will chew wiring and cause damage to power lines, streetlights, A/C units, and appliances.
Argentine Ants are, of course, from Argentina and were introduced to the U.S. around 1891 through the port of New Orleans. These ants are most common in California and the southeastern states of the U.S. Argentine ants can also be found in South Africa, New Zealand, Japan, Easter Island, Austria, and Europe.
Argentine ants have a special trait that amazes scientists; their colonies. Regularly, ants will establish a colony with only one queen and many working ants, but Argentine ants do not. They are friendly towards different colonies of their species and will establish “supercolonies.” These colonies will consist of many, many queens and thousands upon thousands of workers. One of the largest colonies is in Europe. This colony is 3,700 miles in length!
While the Argentine Ant is friendly towards fellow Argentineans, these ants are very aggressive towards different species of ants. Even up against dominant fire ants this ant can come out conqueror. It has been quite the aggressor towards many other ants, but up against the Asian Needle Ant, which follows on our list, even this domineering ant has choked in the ring.
Asian Needle Ants
Originally from Japan, Korea, and China, the Asian Needle ant has been around since the early 1900’s but has only recently begun to dominate in the bug society of the United States. It can be found on the American Atlantic coast; from Connecticut to Florida.
This ant is classified as invasive because of its ability to subdue the extremely aggressive Argentine Ant. Scientists have discovered their shared territory and claimed the Asian Needle to be victorious. The most probable reason for the Asian Needle’s dominance is its hibernating patterns. While most ants hibernate in the winter, the Asian Needle ant is up and about much earlier in the year, giving it the edge in getting its colony going.
The underdogs on this list are definitely these “crazy” ants, which are also known as Tawny Crazy Ants and Raspberry Crazy Ants. Also invading the States from South America, this ant is called crazy because of its sporadic behavior. While most ants follow in single file, these ants run amuck in large stretched out trails. In some places, these crazies have been able to overpower the ferocious fire ant, especially on the Texas coast, leading to the theory that these ants prefer warm, moist climates.
If you are seeing fire ants, crazy ants, Argentine ants, or Asian needle ants in or around your Raleigh area home, get professional ant control.
Bulwark Pest Control
19 West Hargett Street
Raleigh, NC 27601
Trapper Dan’s Wildlife and Pest, LLC
4909 Waters Edge Drive #203
Raleigh, NC 27606
6020 Oak Forest Drive
Raleigh, NC 27616
Written By Heydi Ruelas