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Big Headed Ants

Active Seasons

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Appearance and Size Facts

  • Big-headed ants are light brown to dark reddish brown in color
  • Major workers' heads are very large in proportion to their bodies
  • Size: Range from 1/16 inch (major workers) to 1/8 inch (minor workers) in length
  • Prefer high-protein foods
  • Foraging trails are often coved with soil

Behavior and Habitat of Big Headed Ants

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. Big Headed ants are subterranean ants, meaning that they displace soil to build an underground nest, similar to fire ants. Big Headed ants form super colonies, with individual colonies being intertwined and ants moving from one colony to another freely. They 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.

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Signs of Infestation of Big Headed Ants

They often are observed when foraging for food, which can bring them indoors into areas such as kitchens or even bathrooms. Ant activity may also be seen coming from cracks in tile or concrete, due to the subterranean behavior.

An illustration representing a warning sign for bug infestation

Tips for Prevention of Big Headed Ants

Keep food items secured and pet food off of the floors. Keep bushes and shrubs trimmed 2 foot from the home. Caulk any visible cracks around windows and doors.

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Big Headed Ant Gallery

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