Ant Control Services
Miche Pest Control is a family owned and operated, full service pest control company that provides residential and commercial pest control services for ants in Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. Our expert ant exterminators get rid of ants fast, and use preventative methods to help keep ants from coming back after they've been eliminated. Miche Pest Control has a 4.9 star rating and over 1,000 reviews online - click on the button below to get started, or give us a call today!
Bigheaded Ants: Mound Making Ants With Large Heads
Bigheaded ants, also known as Pheidole ants, are a type of ant native to the United States and are known for their distinctive large heads and behavior. These ants are considered pests due to their habit of nesting in and around homes, as well as their tendency to forage for food in pantries and kitchen areas.
Bigheaded ants are named for their large heads, which are typically twice the size of their thoraxes. They range in size from about 1/8 to 1/4 inch in length and are typically brown or black in color. Bigheaded ants have two types of individuals within their colonies - majors and minors. The majors, also known as soldiers, are the ones with the large heads and are responsible for the protection of the colony. The minors, on the other hand, are smaller and have a more slender appearance. They are responsible for foraging and other tasks within the colony.
Bigheaded ants are known for their highly organized colonies, which can contain thousands of individuals. These colonies typically have one or more queens, who are responsible for reproduction. The queens can live for several years and lay up to 1000 eggs per day, leading to rapid colony growth. Bigheaded ants are also known for their complex social behavior and division of labor within their colonies.
Bigheaded ants are often found nesting in the soil, particularly in moist areas such as near irrigation systems or in gardens. They may also nest in wood, including trees and logs, as well as in wall voids and other structural areas of buildings. One of the most common ways to identify a bigheaded ant infestation is through the presence of foraging ants. These ants are constantly searching for food and are attracted to sweet substances such as sugar, honey, and fruit juices. If you notice a trail of ants leading to a food source in your home, there is a good chance that you have a bigheaded ant infestation.
Another way to identify a bigheaded ant infestation is through the presence of their nests. These ants typically create visible mounds in the soil, which can range in size from a few inches to several feet in diameter. If you notice large mounds of soil in your yard or garden, it is worth inspecting them to see if they are caused by bigheaded ants.
The first step in getting rid of bigheaded ants is to locate and eliminate the nest. This can be challenging, as these ants are skilled at hiding their nests and can have multiple nesting sites within a single colony. It may be necessary to enlist the help of a pest control professional to locate and treat the nest effectively.
Once the nest has been located, there are several options for treatment. One option is to use a liquid insecticide, which can be applied directly to the nest. This method is effective, but it is important to follow the label instructions carefully to ensure the safety of people and pets. Another option is to use bait stations, which are placed near the nest and contain a slow-acting insecticide that the ants will carry back to the nest, effectively eliminating the entire colony. For professional assistance getting rid of bigheaded ants, contact us today!
Bigheaded ants can be found infesting homes throughout Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC. Their biology and habits can vary widely between the different species. Some species of bigheaded ants are actually intermediate hosts for tapeworms of wild and domesticated turkeys, and other birds. Colonies of some species of bigheaded ants can reach a tremendous size, with huge, extended nests and multiple queens. One super-colony covered an entire block. Owners of infested buildings typically complain about finding hundreds of both live and dead ants. Control is difficult because unless the entire super-colony is treated there is a high probability of re-infestation. Colonies of bigheaded ants have been observed to recover from just one queen and 10 pupae.
Most species of bigheaded ants nest in soil, and they're often found next to foundations where they may construct mud tubes, which can be mistaken for subterranean termites. Potted plants are another common nest site, which can result in colonies being taken indoors on accident. Infestations of bigheaded ants typically originate from outside or under a slab foundation.
Bigheaded ants feed on a wide variety of foods, but their natural diet consists of both live and dead insects, seeds, and honeydew. Certain species are predators of fire ant queens, and bigheaded ants have been successfully fed formulations of proteins, sugars, fats, and oils.
Bigheaded ant workers are dimorphic (there are two sizes of workers in each colony), and depending on the species, range in size from 1.5 to 4.5 mm. The body color may range from dark brown through shades of red, to light yellow. They have a two-segmented pedicel and a pair of spines on the propodeum. Their antennae have 12 segments, with a 3-segmented club. The major worker has an unusually large heart-shaped head. Bigheaded ants are easy to identify when the major workers can be collected, but the minor workers are more numerous and resemble the workers of fire ants.
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