Several non-native ant species have established an invasive habitat in Georgia where they currently cause frustration to homeowners throughout the state. Some of these invasive ant species include red-imported fire ants, Asian needle ants, Tawny crazy ants, and Argentine ants. Another invasive ant species, Brachymyrmex patagonicus, has been a growing problem for both homeowners and pest control professionals for the past few years in Georgia. This species is more commonly known as the “dark rover ant,” and although these ants are not dangerous to humans, they infest homes in large numbers where they cannot be easily eradicated. In fact, for the past several years, pest control professionals have had no choice but to repeatedly retreat homes infested with these ants, sometimes more than 15 times.
The dark rover ant is one of the smallest indoor ant species, as female workers are between one and two mm in length, while males are around 1 mm in length. In the natural environment, dark rover ants nest in damp and decayed wood, and in soil located at the base of dead trees, beneath leaf litter, logs and wood piles. These ants nest in both natural and disturbed areas, but they seem to have a preference for urban and suburban habitats. On landscaped yards, dark rover ant frequently nest beneath moist mulch around foundations, beneath pavement, and they are also able to establish indoor nests. While these ants are notable for their ability to nest within a variety of conditions, they have a clear preference for moist habitat, which is why they are often found infesting bathrooms and kitchens. Dark rover ant workers often invade homes from nests located against foundations, and once they gain indoor access, they seek out a variety of foods, most notably sweets. Their habit of nesting against foundations also commonly causes swarms to emerge within homes during the spring and summer. Most residual insecticides and baits are ineffective for controlling dark rover ants, but experts in the pest control industry are currently developing products that are specially designed to control these ant pests.
Have you ever had an infestation of invasive ants?