Big Headed Ants

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What do big headed ants look like?

a big headed ant outside tucson az home

These ants get their name due to the size of the head of the major workers (soldiers), which is larger compared to the size of their body.  Workers range in size from 1/16 to 1/8 in length and can vary in color from light brown to dark reddish brown.  The pedicel has two nodes.

Habits of big headed ants

  • Diet: Feed on live and dead insects, seeds and honeydew. Sweets, fats, and proteins inside homes.
  • Activity: Will reside with other colonies as one large colony
  • Preferred Climate: Dry, warmer climates
  • Defense: Multiple nests help with survival success
  • Cautions: Piles of sand
  • Home Invasion: Will enter homes for food, but is mainly a soil nester residing along cracks in the foundation, under slabs, or in expansion joints. Will also nest in pots that can be transported inside homes.

Are big headed ants dangerous?

Big headed ants do not bite unless the nest is disturbed and typically do not cause significant damage to structures. 

Where do big headed ants nest?

Big headed ants often establish nests in disturbed soil, lawns, and flowerbeds as well as under objects including bricks and cement slabs. 

Helpful hints for big headed ants

To keep big headed ants out of your structure, we recommend:

  • Checking plant pots before transporting plants into your home or business.
  • Sealing any cracks and crevices along the foundation.
  • Signing up for ongoing pest control service to prevent infestations from taking root. 

Interesting facts about big headed ants

Some species of big headed ants will make mud tubes that are similar to subterranean termites, which can cause a misidentification of the pest problem.

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