Field Ants

    Field Ants

    Formica spp.

    field ant

    Field ant (April Nobile, Antweb.org)

    field ants

    Field ant workers (David Cappaert, Michigan State University, Bugwood.org)

    field ant mound

    Field ant mound (Steven Katovich, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org)

    Pest Description

    • black or reddish brown and black
    • one node (bump between middle and rear body sections)
    • most common ant found in yards and gardens
    • often mistaken for carpenter ants, but not as likely to forage indoors
    • worker ants of multiple sizes
    • depression in thorax differentiates them from carpenter ants

    Host Plants, Diet & Damage

    • feed on a variety of foods such as honeydew, sweets and insects
    • can be scavengers or predators
    • become a nuisance during swarming flights
    • nest outdoors in loose soil, turf, decaying wood or other landscaped areas
    • may produce mounds (sometimes incorporating twigs, dried leaves and other plant materials) in exposed areas, in turfgrass or nest under rocks, logs, etc.
    • can swarm and bite humans if a mound is stepped on

    Biology, Life Cycle & Damaging Life Stage

    • typically one queen per colony
    • do not frequently come indoors
    • adult worker ants are the damaging life stage

    IPM Recommendations

    • Locate and destroy nests in lawn and adjacent areas using liquid, granular or bait-formulated pesticides.
    • Control soft scale, mealybug or aphid populations on nearby ornamental plants.
    • Seal or eliminate potential ant entryways into homes or structures.