Know Your Enemy
Accurate identification of pests is as important as choosing the best preventive pest management available on the market today. Preventive Pest Control has compiled a list of most common pests to help you identify the problem.
The workers of pyramid ants have a uniform size, which is about 7/50 inch in length. They are mostly identified by the appearance on the top of their thorax that looks like a pyramid. They have a 12-segmented antennae, but with no antennae club. Their coloration will depend on their species. Some species have a reddish-black head and thorax with a black abdomen, while other species has a red head and red thorax with a black abdomen.
Pyramid ants commonly create their nests in open areas. They will create a mound that is near the other nest of other ants. They excavate their crater-shaped mounds in open vegetation, but they can also create their colonies under logs or stones. These ants can create their mounds in open scrub, open fields, pastures, lawns, roadsides, and the likes.
Although these ants are small, they are not afraid to create their nests near other undesirable ants. In fact, they become a primary beneficial ant when they create nests near red imported fire ants. Pyramid ants have the ability to attack foraging undesirable ants and their newly mated queens, which allow to control or even eliminate the unwanted colony.
Just like any other ants, pyramid ants feed on a variety of foods. They prefer to eat the honeydew made by aphids, mealybugs and scales. However, they can also eat other insects. They are attracted to sweets and may be seen searching for them on decks, and patios.
During the warmer summer months, winged reproductives will go out from the old colony to swarm. After mating, the female reproductive will search for a place to lay her eggs, and hide herself while she lays them. A colony will only have one queen that can lay eggs. Her workers will have four stages of development throughout their lifetime. First as an egg, larva, pupa, and finally as an adult.
Other Information and Tips
These ants do not commonly go indoors. They still prefer creating their nest outdoors. Some may find them as pests, especially if their nests are in lawns or near a home’s structure. To get rid of them, place bait stations in areas where they are commonly seen. However, these ants are considered beneficial and may even need some assistance, especially when they are combating fire ants.
When imported fire ants and pyramid ants are in the same area, it is common to have most of the pyramid ants to be part of the casualty when fire ants are being given with baits since pyramid ants may also take the baits with them. Keep in mind that not all ants are undesirable. Pyramid ants for instance, are outdoor ants that will even help in controlling and eliminating undesirable ants. Make sure you use friendly treatments that are safe to the desirable species.