Good morning. This is Ben Sell with Ben’s Pest Control podcast here in Port St. Lucie, Florida. And today, I wanted to talk to you about big headed ants. Now, for those of you who aren’t aware, big headed ants, not really well known species of ant, in our area, they’ve been around, I want to say since maybe the early 2000s, at least in our area. And they’re a lot of
people don’t think of them as extremely common. But they’re, they’re quite more common than, than most people even realize. And the reason people don’t realize they’re as common as they are, is that most people mistake the big head ant, for fire ants. They have some similarities, fire ants, the red imported fire ants, that people are familiar with the ones that that caused a lot of painful stings. And big headed of ants both make nests with sand. And they displace a lot of sand, and they bring a lot of sand up and they, they hit these huge sand piles. So one of the things I tell people is, a lot of times when you have the red imported fire, and you’ll just have like a massive mound of sand, or you’ll see it on the base of a tree or around an object that’s sitting on the ground, and they’ll even build it over the object. Well, the big headed ants, they will also make it their hives or ness, I’m sorry, not hives, thier nest around things that lay flat on the ground. The difference is, is normally the fire ant, it’s kind of one big pile and the the big headed ant, you see what looks like little areas, so so they almost make it like what I would call an ant condo. So you have all these different kind of sized areas with what looked like openings in and out of the nest. So a lot of people will tell us that they see the ant mounds for the big headed ants, especially alongside their driveways, their sidewalks, and they will will be next to the road. There’ll be in the cracks, they’ll bring up dirt through the cracks. They’ll bring up dirt through the pavers. And now, a lot of people would be saying, Well, you kn
ow, what, what does it matter if, if they’re outside and they don’t bother me? Well, they had an answer actually on the list of 100 worst invaders for structures. And what we’re finding in the Treasure Coast area is a lot of people are calling up now going, Hey, I got all this sand in my house. And some people even think it’s termites. But there’ll be a pile of sand either on the floor on the windows, and it’ll just be constant, they’ll clean it up. And also there’ll be more sand. And what a lot of people don’t realize is big headed ants actually will nest under the slab of the house. And if they can find a way into the structure, they will bring in all this dirt they’ll bring in massive amounts of nesting material, and they’ll move it right into the walls. So the walls can be full of this nesting material in the sand and the ants can be extremely numerous. One a case my neighbors, in Port St. Lucie at one point in time, they had in their bathroom, they would find sand and we would come in and we treat it and a couple weeks later, they’d find more sand and we would come in and treat it. And the conclusion we came to was that they must have had a crack in the slab or they were coming up through the foundation where their shower line was because the pile of sand was always next to their showerhead. Just this week, I had a gentleman in Fort Pierce call me up he had a building with apartments. And he’s like they’re invading the apartments. Every single apartment, their doors, their front doors, their back door, sir was just sand and ants coming through the doors and his his whole parking lot. Every crack there were sand mounds. And it was just absolutely amazing to see the amount of sand that was being displaced by the ants. And the way they were invading the structure. So a lot of people just now that maybe were mentioned this, you’ll go Oh yeah, I’ve seen that and realize that these things they’ve been around for a while and they’re just quite the annoyance and they will, like I said they’ll bring all that sand in they’ll make a huge mess. We’ve gone into houses that were empty and and found actually almost inches of sand on the floor where they’ve moved in. In a lot of cases, we find that houses that are that are wood frame that have siding. There’ll be trails. One house we just treated in December, we I think we had seven trails of ants c
oming up through the foundation. It was quite active and we had to go in and we Had to spray the house and spray the house. And
in that house’s case, what we found was that we stopped them from getting in from the outside. But all sudden, the inside just got absolutely bombarded. Because we had, we had created a barrier that prevented the ants from coming in. But it also prevented the ants from going back out. So now we had a situation where we had to go in and treat the inside of their structure numerous times and they didn’t know what to expect as far as what room they could pop up in. And when we say that we’ve cut them off from all their food and water sources. So they could pop up in the bathroom, around the sinks, they could pop up around the toilet or the shower, they could pop up in the kitchen looking for food, they are going to desperately trying to survive and find a way to keep going. So they come in. A lot of people report a ton of these around dog food, cat food, they are very much a protein feeding ant. And so they thrive off of those types of foods. And it is it is really crazy to try to explain to people how bad these things will infest the house. And when we say that one of the benefits of these ants has actually been, they’re so aggressive that they’ve kind of hindered species like the white footed ant, and things like right important fire ants, They have caused those and species to actually have to take a backseat, because they have taken over some of their areas. And those ants in themselves had their own challenges. So these ants have kind of pushed them out. And we’re stuck now trying to deal with these. But in some regards, they are better because they don’t sting like red imported fire ants do which can be extremely painful and dangerous. And the white footed ants, they are just absolutely numerous and have had other issues where they’ve caused damage to people’s homes because of their numbers. So it’s a real issue that’s starting to be seen more and more across the Treasure Coast. So I would tell you that if you’re seeing sand in your house, they do also swarm during their swarm season. And they can be multiple sizes. If you’re wondering, I apologize, I probably should have said this earlier. But if you’re wondering why they’re called The Big Headed Ant, about one, I say one at 50, I think they say the actual numbers about one in a 100 actually has an enlarged head. And it’s kind of like the the protector, it’s the the ant that will attack and defend the workers. So that’s why they’re actually called the big headed ant. So you have two different size ants in the colony. And that industry referred to as polymorphic. And these ants, like I said, you will see all the sand, you’ll see the dirt. And a lot of times you’ll see numerous, numerous dead ants and in a lot of different places. So what I would tell people is you got to treat, you got to treat, it got to have the house treated, it’s got to be thorough, it’s got to be almost on a regular basis to make sure that you’ve done enough to try to get them out of the areas that you can’t apply pesticides, such as the walls, and you got to stay on top of it.
So if you have any questions, please feel free to give me a call our number is 772-878-1972. Or if you feel like this is something you just can’t tackle yourself, please feel free to give us a call at that number. Again, it’s 772-878-1972 and we’ll be happy to give you a free evaluation. And again, this is Ben Sell with Ben’s pest control. Thank you and have a great day.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai