Red Harvester Ants

Pogonomyrmex Barbatus
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What do red harvester ants look like?

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There are 22 species of harvester ants in the United States. These insects have six legs, three body parts, and antenna, square-shaped heads, no spines on the body, red to dark brown, chewing mouthparts, and up to 1/2 inch long. They have powerful mandibles capable of cutting and carrying grass and small stems to the nest.

Habits of red harvester ants

  • Diet: Grass seeds, insects, and spiders
  • Activity: During the day
  • Preferred Climate: Temperate climate; dry, arid environments
  • Defense: Cover nest opening to keep intruders out and painful sting
  • Cautions: Painful sting if disturbed
  • Home Invasion: Mounds may be seen in the ground. The mound of red harvester ants will have vegetation cleared from 3 to 20 feet around the mound center. Pathway(s) of cleared vegetation from the mound may go as far as 200 feet.

Are red harvester ants dangerous?

Red harvester ants have a reputation for being aggressive and are capable of delivering a painful sting that sometimes causes allergic reactions. 

This ant causes considerable damage to grass and cropland when it constructs nests for its huge colonies.

Where do red harvester ants nest?

Nests are constructed consisting of many tunnels where worker ants store seeds, which are the main food source. 

Helpful hints for red harvester ants

To avoid red harvester ant infestations, our local exterminating team recommends the following ant prevention tips:

Interesting facts about red harvester ants

In 2003, harvester ants became the first ants to travel from earth to space on the NASA space shuttle. Scientists were studying the effects of space flight and weightlessness on the tunneling behavior during a 16-day flight.

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