Harvester Ants

    Harvester Ants

    Pogonomyrmex spp.

    harvester ant

    Harvester ant (Joseph Berger, Bugwood.org)

    harvester ants

    Harvester ant nest entrance (Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org)

    harvester ant nest

    Harvester ant nest (Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org)

    Pest Description

    • red to brown to black
    • larger ants; 1/5 – 1/2 inch long
    • two nodes (bumps between middle and rear body sections)
    • workers of equal or different sizes
    • row of hairs on the underside of the head
    • spines on back sometimes present

    Host Plants, Diet & Damage

    • feed on seeds and grasses
    • inflict painful stings when disturbed; some species leave stingers in the wound
    • occasional pests of lawns
    • strip large areas of grass and vegetation around nesting sites

    Biology, Life Cycle & Damaging Life Stage

    • one queen per colony
    • nests appear as flat, bare circular patches of soil averaging several feet in diameter
    • nests may be several feet deep
    • swarm from June to October
    • adult workers are the damaging stage

    IPM Recommendations

    • Use granular ant baits labeled for lawn use around the nest opening.