SIZE: About one-eighth of an inch long.
COLOR: Black, with pale tarsal segments at the end of all six legs, giving it its name.
BEHAVIOR: White-footed ants may develop huge colonies containing thousands of workers and numerous queens. A colony of white-footed ants can number up to one million individuals. This species may be difficult to control and does not feed much on ant baits. The keys to control are to find the colonies and subcolonies and treat them directly. Regular inspections and service are necessary to find and treat new colonies as they move from neighboring properties. The services of a professional, such as Terminix
®, are very helpful when encountering these ants.
The white-footed ant is a serious pest in southern Florida and on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu. These ants nest outdoors under items on the ground, within landscape mulch, beneath loose bark on trees, under ground cover, in potted plants and within piles of items such as lumber, firewood or bricks. Nests may also be readily established inside homes in walls, beneath carpeting and in other suitable voids or spaces.
The white-footed ant may well be the most difficult to control of all structure-infesting ants. In many situations, elimination of ant activity is nearly impossible, especially during midsummer in areas where this ant occurs (Florida and Hawaii). At best, regular treatments hold the ants at bay, keeping as few ants as possible from entering the home or business. Without such efforts, however, the numbers of ants seen inside can rise into the thousands. Regular pest control services by an experienced Terminix professional can help minimize the numbers of ants seen inside. It is especially important to seal as many cracks in the homes’ exterior as possible to exclude ants and other pests. General tips for limiting ant infestations include:
Eliminate piles of lumber, bricks or other debris that could serve as a nesting site for ants.
Keep landscape mulch less than two inches thick and at least 12 inches away from foundations.
Ensure the sprinkler system does not spray directly onto a building's foundation.