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Big Headed Ants: Information, Insecticides, Pesticides, Treatments & Cures

Nest site/characteristics: Most form small (200- to 300-member) colonies, but colonies of some species contain thousands of ants and multiple queens. Big-headed ants enter buildings occasionally, preferring to nest in protected soil (such as under stones, leaf litter, mulch, patio blocks, slabs, firewood and landscape timbers). Some nest in open areas where they make small mounds, or in crawl spaces in termite-damaged wood.

Big-headed ants trail readily, but usually not far from their nest. Their foraging trails are sometimes covered with soil, resembling subterranean termite foraging tubes.

Feeding Preferences: Big-headed ants prefer seeds and insects but will occasionally feed on honeydew from sap-sucking insects. Inside, they forage for meats, grease, liver, molasses, peanut butter, pet foods and fruit juices, preferring high-protein foods.

Control: Find and eliminate colonies in or around the structure.

  • For big-headed ants living in the soil or under items, treat each colony directly with Premise, Tempo or Suspend.
  • To eliminate colonies in wall voids or inside wood, drill into the wall base or wood where the ants are living and inject insecticide dust, such as Drione or Tempo, or inject voids with Premise Foam.
  • If the colony cannot be found, consider baiting on foraging trails or suspected areas of ant activity. Granular insect bait may be applied as perimeter treatments around structures and injected into wall voids and under baseboards. Where large, extended colonies are infesting buildings, inspect bait placements and replace as needed.
  • For large, extended colonies, perimeter treatments are helpful after satellite colonies have been found and treated.
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