Have you ever heard someone use the phrase, “you have a big head?” Well, in the insect world, it’s more than just a euphemism. At least that’s the case when it comes to big-headed ants. Considered to be one of the Sunshine State’s worst pests, the colonies’ major players all have noggins far bigger than their minor counterparts. On top of that, their heads are not in proportion with their 1/8 to 1/16 inch long bodies. As such, they just look strange.
Many attribute the odd looking ants’ origins to the Mascarene Islands. However, their hitchhiking ways have resulted in colonies being established all over the world. So it is not uncommon for them to show up in shipping containers from places like Egypt, the Ivory Coast and France.
Another interesting thing about big-headed ants, besides their anatomy, is their foraging trails. They sometimes resemble that of another common South Florida pest, subterranean termites. In addition, the ants may decide to occasionally take up residence in abandoned termite mounds as well.
When they are not busy imitating South Florida’s subterranean termites, the big-headed ants make take on the characteristics of fire ants too. In those instances, they’ll leave little piles of dirt in the yard that look vaguely like small fire ant mounds.
It is well known that when the ants do venture out of their nests for food, they tend to head towards a variety of protein rich cuisine. Items that they typically like to put on the menu are liver, nuts and nut byproducts (i.e. peanut butter).
What’s also interesting about these Palm Beach pests is that they tend to engage in nuptial flights twice a year and develop very large colonies. In South Florida, those two flight periods are winter and spring. So now is the time for Palm Beach residents to be on the lookout for big-headed ant activity.
Those residents that do notice big-headed ants traipsing about their South Florida properties should contact us right away. Our Pest control pros in Palm Beach may be reached by dialing (866) 611-2847.