Argentine Ants are mainly from Argentina and Brazil but were introduced before 1890 onboard coffee ships to the US. These pests are now standard across Texas and the southern United States, including in Houston, while isolated infestations have been common in other states. Argentine ants prefer to find their way indoors when the weather is very wet or very dry, or when they are low on honeydew as a replacement for candy, oils, and fats. These are just a few facts, let’s know more.
Here are 10 surprising facts about Argentine Ants.
- The Argentine ant’s colonies can grow large and include tens of thousands of workers and numerous queens. The colony will be divided into subcolonies located in different suitable harboring linked by trunk trails created. These subcolonies are to number from a few hundred to thousands of people. Owing to the fact that representatives of two different colonies are not hostile towards each other, colonies sometimes merge. This produces enormous super-colonies which can stretch over many properties.
2. Argentine ants are very violent and can drive out native ants species, creating an atmosphere in which they are, so to speak, practically the anthill “king.” During the warm months, their primary source of food is the sweet honeydew provided by aphids and mealybugs. In Argentina, the existence of fruit trees, roses, and other plants that attract aphids also contributes to ant infestations.
3. Argentine ants arrived from Northern Argentina in the United States in the late nineteenth century, when the first known Argentine ant was found in Louisiana in 1891. Researchers conclude that the ants in Argentine coffee or sugar shipments off-loaded at the Port of New Orleans hitched a ride to North America. From there, they moved through the South and into California — most likely by train. Enticed by the Mediterranean climate, which is similar to that of their original South American home, the ants set up shop. By 1907, local native ants had been displaced, and their first moves towards complete soil supremacy along California’s 560-mile coastline began.
4. Outdoor Argentine ants build compact nests alongside sidewalks, houses, under trees, under logs, under boards, or stones. Typically they build their nests in moist soil located near sources of food. Within, they hide behind doors, big appliances, or under boards.