Argentine Ants 101: What San Jose Property Owners Need To Know

a cluster of Argentine ants eating cake

In California, many natural and human elements wage war. Whether it’s the threat of earthquakes, wildfires, or the continually growing cityscapes, maintaining a balance of growth and sustainability is difficult. In the middle of this struggle are your property and the pests that threaten it. One such pest is an insect that threatens not only your home but the biodiversity of San Jose. This insect is the Argentine ant. 

Argentine ants emigrated from Argentina. Transported with shipments of sugar and coffee from Argentina to the southern United States, Argentine ants now make their homes in the southeast and on the southwest coast. These brown ants may be a mere 2-3mm long, but they are a big headache to San Jose property owners, especially in the summers when they retreat indoors for access to water. For this reason, Argentine ants are listed as one of the top nuisance pests.

What’s The Big Deal With Argentine Ants?

Argentine ants are the most invasive and aggressive ant species. Instead of having one queen ant that rules the colony, Argentine ant colonies have multiple queens that lay up to 60 eggs a day. Because of the frequency of breeding among ants, Argentine ants make supercolonies made up of thousands of ants. These supercolonies wipe out other ant populations by aggressively colonizing their anthills. They will even team up with other Argentine supercolonies to drive other ants out of the area.

When they displace native ant species, a ripple effect occurs in the ecology of an area, creating a threat to biodiversity. Native ant species that serve as an important food source for other animals are driven out by Argentine ants. Those other animals, insects, or plants that benefit from the native ant species suffer when aggressive Argentine ants force the native ants from their habitats. This change can impact the food chain and threaten biodiversity in an ecological system.

On your property, Argentine ants are some of the worst home-invaders. They seek shelter from the dry heat of California summers, looking for water and food. These ants can get through the smallest cracks, infiltrating your home in large numbers. Like most ants, Argentine ants have enhanced odor receptors with the ability to locate scraps of food from long distances. Once inside your home, they locate the sweet scraps or fats in your cupboards, on your floors, and on the counters, helping themselves to the buffet. They are big spreaders of harmful bacteria as they traipse through your home and contaminate your food.

Bay Pest Argentine Ant Prevention Tips

Attempting to prevent Argentine ants from infiltrating your home or business entails reducing or eliminating the factors that attract them to your property. Since Argentine ants are drawn to moist areas, keeping standing water away from your home will help lower the risk of an ant infestation. Frequent and thorough cleaning will keep these pests from locating the droplets of syrup from last weekend’s pancake brunch. Likewise, cleaning the outside of your property and eliminating piles of debris like wood, foliage, and rocks will help to prevent an Argentine ant infestation. The following suggestions are Bay Pest's top tips for Argentine ant prevention.

  • Clean frequently and thoroughly.
  • Seal any holes, cracks, or spaces around doors, windows, and in flooring.
  • Eliminate moisture in your home.
  • Keep the yard free of debris piles or possible breeding sites for ants.

When Argentine Ants Invade Your San Jose Property 

Because Argentine ants breed so often, an Argentine ant problem can become an infestation very quickly. At the first signs of an Argentine ant infestation, contact Bay Pest. The professionals at Bay Pest can ensure total Argentine ant control for your San Jose property. Reach out to us today, we can help!

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