A Closer Look: White-footed Ants

       If you live in the South, chances are you may have had a run-in with white-footed ants. They are usually identified by their black-brown body and white tarsi (or “feet”), with colonies ranging from 8,000 to 3 million individuals. On top of their large colonies, these ants are unique in that they do not share food with each other like other ant species. Sterile workers will lay trophic eggs (unfertilized, nutritional source) to feed the larvae and non-foraging workers. Between these two factors, white-footed ants can be very difficult to control.

       As with most ants, the white-footed ants will seek out moist environments near food sources to start their colony. Areas such as decaying trees, old termite galleries, wall voids, and roof shingles, or similar locations tend to be highly desirable for colony management and growth. From here they will feed on sweet foods, such as honeydew, as well as protein sources like dead insects, and focus on colony growth. They can also enter homes through nearly any crack or crevice and, while not structurally damaging or stinging, become a nuisance to the homeowner.

       Similar to other pests, prevention is the best method of control. Sealing up cracks and crevices, removing potential harborage sites, trimming trees and shrubs away from the house, and inspecting house plants for honeydew producing insects will help lower the chances of white-footed ants finding their way into your home. Home Paramount is also here to help with any white-footed ant problems. Our technicians use a variety of slow-acting baits that can make the trophic eggs inedible and starve out a colony or liquid treatments on the nests to directly take care of the problem. As always, we offer free home inspections, so don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call your local Home Paramount today if you think white-footed ants – or any other pests – have made their way into your home!