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Argentine Ant

How To Control Argentine Ants

Ants are a major problem for homes as well as farmers for the amount of damage they can inflict upon crops and gardens. This species of ant, as the name suggests, were brought over from Argentina during the 1890s aboard ships that carried coffee and sugar. Since then, Argentine Ants have made their mark on the land, extending from the coast throughout California and to the southern parts of the United States.

Argentine ants are 1/12 to 1/8 inch long and are colored a dull brown. They are an aggressive species of ant and are known for creating super colonies which can number into the thousands with multiple queens which can reach up to the hundreds. While argentine ants don’t establish nests inside of homes, they do establish nests outside near a home they are targeting and create intricate trails to enter homes to forage for food.

The Argentine Ant is relentless in its pursuit of food and when indoors they will go to great lengths in their search including entering refrigerators and other hard to reach places. Argentine ants are also attracted to moisture and will even seek the moisture of human bodies by entering beds while we sleep.

If you have a problem with argentine ants on your property, there are ways to eliminate this frustrating pest. Solutions Pest and Lawn has everything you need to get rid of argentine ants, from professional products to expert how-to advice.

Browse our argentine ant control products below. If you have any questions or concerns call or email us and we will be happy to assist you.

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How To Get Rid of Argentine Ants: Solutions 4 Step Process

Argentine ants are a persistent pest so it is best to have a multi-pronged approach in getting rid of it. We here at Solutions recommend a combination of dusts and sprays for controlling argentine ants along with practical methods of exclusion and making your home or environment less appealing for argentine ants to venture into. Below are some of the steps we suggest for the greatest success in managing this pest.


It is easy for argentine ants and other small insects to gain access to homes and buildings through tiny cracks or gaps in the foundation (most often around doors and windows.) These areas should be thoroughly inspected and potential entry points sealed up by caulk or other exclusion material.


Step 1: Performing a thorough inspection is an important first step in order to overcome an argentine ant infestation. Inspect your property both indoors and outdoors for mounds and nests where the ant colony is headquartered. Typical outdoor nesting sites include soil, hollowed trees, under firewood, rocks, and other piles of material or debris, and underneath stone or brick walkways. Indoors, Argentine ants can be found in walls and voids, and around wherever there is moisture sources such as sinks, pipes, or potted plants.


Step 2: Destroy Ant mound and/or nests. If you happen to find where the argentine ants are nesting, treat it immediately with a strong insecticide such as Reclaim IT Spray to the point of drenching the nest, the insecticide will then work to kill the entire population. Make sure to keep pets and children away until the treated area has been dried. Dominion 2L is another great option for controlling aregentine ants.


Step 3: While the nest has been treated, there are likely many ants still traveling about. Use an insecticide spray to create a barrier around your home to prevent ants from trespassing. Spray around your home’s foundation up to 3 feet high along the building sides and 3 feet out on the ground with a fan sprayer will provide great protection. A few other areas where it would be wise to apply insecticide outdoors include sidewalks, around the base of trees, stepping stones, potted plants, and garbage cans. Around entry points, use Fipro Foaming Aerosol. Fipro is a non-repellent insecticide and is labeled for argentine ants so it is also a highly recommended option for treatment.


Step 4: To take care of indoor Argentine ants, it is better to bait than spray. This is because baits can be taken and shared within the colony and kill ants in areas where sprays cannot reach.Try a slow-acting bait like Ant-Trax Ant Bait. To judge whether a bait is effective, simply monitor whether the placement is being visited or decreasing in size. If not, switch to another bait until you find one that is readily accepted. Please don't be discouraged if you do not see results immediately. Baits take time to work so give the bait time, at least up to two weeks.


Learn More About The Argentine Ant

Argentine Ants, known scientifically as Linepithema humile, are native to parts of South America, but through human activity they have established themselves all over the worlds and are considered to be one of the worst invasive ant species out there.


The ants are highly problematic to introduced regions, as they can disrupt the fragile balance of native ecosystems, and subsequently diminish their levels of biodiversity.  They do this by displacing native animal populations, taking them as prey or outcompeting them for resources.


How does an argentine Ant Look?


Argentine ants are medium sized with a slender, shiny, smooth body. They can range between light to dark brown in color. Worker ants are 2-3 mm long and all look the same while queens are about twice their size. Argentine ant populations can grow rapidly to the point that a colony breaks off and creates sub colonies. This is done through a process called budding


The Argentine ant is often confused with the Pharaoh ant due to both looking similar to eachother.


Argentine Ant Biology and Behavior

Argentine ants can grow at an alarming rate and establish giant populations, with large colonies which consist of multiple nests containing hundreds of queens and many thousands of workers. Individual colony members move freely between, and within these nests. Queens can lay as many as 60 eggs per day. Development from egg to adult takes about 74 days for workers who will live for a lifespan of about a year.


Winged male and female argentine ant alates are produced during the spring. During the spring and summer, large colonies often break off into several colonies via budding. This occurs by one or more queens, accompanied by a group of workers, leaving the original nest and finding an area to set up a new nest. Ants from different colonies are not aggressive toward one another.

Argentine Ants: A Threat To The Environment

Argentine Ants are recognized as a problematic pest in residential areas, especially due to plentiful access to water. Argentine ants can thrive in back yards with large numbers especially if there are favorable conditions for them, such as lots of potted plants and walkway bricks or stones. They are known to trespass into homes via cracks and other points of entry to forage for food and water.


Aside from bugging us humans, argentine ants also cause trouble for other insects and creatures in the ecosystem with its bullying and dominating behavior. Argentine ants live in large packs of colonies which comprise of multiple nests and queens covering a large area. Argentine Ants have strength in numbers and will take over an area outcompete native insects and even other ants who they can be extremely hostile towards. They are known to raid and invade the nests of smaller ant colonies.


Argentine ants can also be an economic threat due to their tendency to tend plant damaging pests like aphids. In return for protection, argentine ants obtain sweet honeydew secretions from aphids.


How Argentine Ants Spread


The Argentine ant is native to Argentina and Brazil, hence their name. In the United States, they were first discovered in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1891. Now they have spread to various locations in southern United States such as Arizona, California, Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, Oregon, Texas, and Washington. It is common in urban settings, but has also become established in rural areas.


Argentine ant nests are found in moist, but not wet, areas. Indoors, they like to stay near water pipes, sinks, and potted plants. Outdoors, nesting sites include: under stones and boards, beneath plants, in fallen and rotting tree limbs, in tree stumps, and along sidewalks. They are highly adaptive and can nest in diverse habitats in both covered and exposed soil.


Currently the Argentine Ant has established significant populations in Texas. The ant is scattered throughout central and eastern Texas and has been identified in the Lower Galveston Bay watershed in Harris County.


How To Control Argentine Ants

Argentine ants can be hard to control within homes and buildings. When colonies are wiped out from a building, before long, new colonies quickly move into the area. It is recommended to regularly monitor and inspect both inside and outside buildings to find all colonies ant colonies.


Applying insecticide dusts or aerosols in small cracks around baseboards can treat nests inside wall voids. Argentine ant nests located outside can be drenched with a insecticide concentrate by using a handheld sprayer. Colonies found living in gardens, flowerbeds, mulch, and leaf litter also can be treated in this same method, but with the handheld sprayer at low pressure. When Argentine ants have a severe infestation, perimeter treatments are recommended to form a repellant barrier to prevent them from re-infesting the property.


Insecticides used for these treatments should be a wettable powder or micro encapsulated formulation labeled for this type of application. If you are unable to easily find a nesting colony, you can apply ant bait in the path of trails you have observed Argentine ants going on. Place multiple beads of bait in various locations. Argentine ants are particularly attracted to sweet baits. Follow up is a must to determine if bait is working and if they need to be reapplied.


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