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Harvester Ant

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Description

Harvester Ant

Pest Stats

Color

Orange to red or brownish-black

Legs

Six

Shape

Two-segmented; midsection has one pair of spines on the top (most species); many species have long hairs on their head forming a ‘beard’

Size

¼ – ½” (4.7-11.5 mm)

Antennae

Yes

Region

¼ – ½” (4.7-11.5 mm)

Habits

Harvester ants are considered agricultural pests for their ability to gather seeds that come from various plants as their main food source, but they will also feed on insects. Harvester ants are excellent at locating and traveling to their food source. They leave behind a distinguished smell as they travel to food sources. In the harvester ant colonies, there is one queen per colony. The queen lays eggs in the hibernation season that hatch in the summer season. The newly hatched ants emerge as swarmers especially after a rainfall. Harvester ants preferred habitat is the desert and they prefer open areas. They usually remain in the nest during the hottest part of the day.

Habitat

Although harvester ants do not enter structures, they are still considered a pest because their nests are often near homes or yards. They have mounds that are medium to large size. As the seasons change and overhead shading changes, the harvester ant will move its nest. They can dig galleries into the ground as deep as 4.5 meters.

Threats

Harvester ants are very aggressive and can be dangerous to the human health. They often bite the people as they come across them and feel threatened or they feel their food source is threatened. Once the ant bites and injects the venom into the skin, the early signs are moderate to severe pain, redness, and swelling. There is the possibility of allergic reaction to the bite including anaphylaxis. Many allergic symptoms can accompany this bite including itching, sneezing, wheezing, nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, and breathing problems.

Harvester Ant Prevention

If you suspect a harvester ant infestation, call A-1 Bonded Termite, Inc. for a free inspection* immediately. This is the safest and most effective way to get rid of harvester ants. Your inspector will make recommendations to eliminate the infestation and make suggestions on how to correct conditions that may be conducive to re-infestations.

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