Cornfield Ants

Lasius Aleinus
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What do cornfield ants look like?

cornfield ant in tucson metro

Cornfield ants are light to dark brown in color and relatively large eyes compared to their heads. They are a smaller type of ant with workers growing up to an 1/8 of an inch long. 

Life cycle of cornfield ants

Complete Metamorphosis

New colonies are formed when mating flights occur in late summer to fall.  Eggs are laid and will hatch the next spring.  At this time the queen cares for the young until she has a worker caste that can assist and take over the care of the eggs.  The life cycle in an established colony takes an average of 3 weeks in the egg stage, in additional 3 weeks in the larval stage, with egg to adult stage being completed in about 4 months during warmer months.

Habits of cornfield ants

  • Diet: Insect juices and seeds.
  • Activity: Outdoors
  • Preferred Climate: Warm
  • Defense: Do not sting
  • Cautions: Clusters of mounds can take over open grounds, lawns.
  • Home Invasion: They prefer to reside in open areas in yards, fields, golf courses. It is rare they are found inside, and typically if found inside, their nest site is outdoors. Nests will often be under rocks, woodpiles, along edges of landscaping. They are evident because of their cone-shaped mounds which can often develop into clusters of mounds if left untreated.

Are cornfield ants dangerous?

This ant may bite, but generally, causes little more than itching or a slight stinging sensation. 

Where do cornfield ants nest?

Cornfield ants rarely nest inside homes instead they typically nest in soil under stones, bricks, sidewalks as well as inside rotting logs and stumps, and other concealed spots. Property owners should also look for the formation of small craters in their lawns. 

Helpful hints for cornfield ants

  • Quick response to treatment to avoid clusters of mounds forming.
  • Regular pest control maintenance plan to ensure you are on top of pest problems when they begin.
  • Maintain lawn and yard.

Interesting fact about the cornfield ant

Cornfield ants store corn root-aphid eggs in their burrows during the winter and places the aphids back on the plants during the following spring.

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