How to Get Rid of Big Headed Ants in Port St. Lucie
September 07, 2022
The big-headed ant is an invasive ant species known for… I’ll let you take a guess.
Their big heads! You might mistake them for a fire ant because they’re sometimes a reddish brown color, but can also be yellow.
These ants are common in tropical and subtropical climates so Florida is the jackpot for them. And more specifically, they’re common wherever humans live because they like how we break in the ground for them just by living life.
They make mounded nests in grass, sidewalks, driveways, rotting trees, woodpiles, and turf, similar to red fire ants.
When disturbed, big-headed ants might bite, but don’t worry, their bite isn’t painful or dangerous. If you see them in your yard or around your home, it’s really about the damage they bring to your yard by nesting anywhere and everywhere, and about how they’re just plain annoying inside your home.
Why are Big Headed Ants a Problem?
Big-headed ants are an invasive species that comes from regions of Africa that make up the Afro-tropics, including Sub-Saharan Africa, the Nile Basin and Madagascar. They’re problematic enough that they ranked in the top 100 most threatening invasive species in the world.
And they’re not just a threat to Florida, in Kenya, researchers are seeing that big headed ants are directly and indirectly affecting different tree species, leading to a decrease in photosynthesis production.
Don’t worry, I’m surprised too - but it’s true. Big headed ants are known to damage things that make the world go round, including irrigation and electrical wires.
A huge way they spread is through commerce - so if you ever order a package from another company and see ants inside, they might be big headed ants (or another invasive species).
The acacia trees are the ones particularly taking the fall. Invasive ants like big headed ants will nest in the acacia tree roots, disrupting tree growth and photosynthesis.
They’ve also wiped out almost every ant species native to Kenya, which is a huge problem for the whole ecosystem, because they’re the protectors of the acacia trees. When big headed ants invade, they kill the native African ants, hurt the trees directly, and don’t protect the trees from herbivores like elephants and giraffes.
Big headed ants are also known to damage things that our societies go round all around the world, including irrigation systems and electrical wires.
That’s why pest control for big headed ants is so important - not only are they a nuisance in homes but they’re also an environmental issue. By reducing the population of big-headed ants, the environmental issues will be reduced and they’ll be less likely to invade homes.
Big Headed Ants in Port St. Lucie
Usually, big headed ant problems begin outside. If you find a big-headed ant in Port St. Lucie or its habitat, you may mistake it for a red imported fire ant at first.
Both ants usually create ant mounds in soil for nests. Besides that, BHA’s generally nest in soil, lawns, flowerbeds, beneath objects, around trees or water pipes, and around structures.
More easily spotted on sidewalks and driveways, these mounds may also be present in your lawn, landscaping, and around your home’s foundation.
These ants build mounds anywhere and everywhere, causing damage to lawns, and sometimes they build huge colonies that expand over big areas. That’s why controlling them can be so difficult, sometimes they’re just everywhere.
So without the right plan or actions, the colonies can continue to grow and be even more out of control.
They’ll also affect things beyond your home. Big-headed ants in Port St. Lucie can threaten nesting birds and turtle populations by feasting on babies. They also wipe out larger native ant populations like the red fire ant and white-footed ant.
Their motivation to live all over the place makes them extremely adaptive in different environments, so they’re pretty tough cookies. For example, the big-headed ant in Australia is three times larger than the big headed ant in Hawaii.
The problem can get more difficult when big-headed ants sense the food inside your home. Once a big-headed ant finds its way inside, they look for protein-rich foods like meats, peanut butter, and grease.You also might find them in bathrooms sometimes.
The problem inside can lead to the same results outside: An infestation all over your home that may expand beyond your home.
Big headed ants in Port St. Lucie also sometimes host poultry tapeworms, and ants can be a food source for poultry animals like chicken or turkeys. So if you raise chickens and you come across a big headed ant infestation, you’ll want to watch the chickens for potential tapeworm issues.
If big-headed ants have found a way inside, you may not see their nests in your home. However, you may see traces of disturbed dirt near baseboards.
You might also see ants out in the open looking for food. When inside, big-headed ants hang out in the kitchen of course looking for food or in the bathroom under the sink.
The Problem with Big Headed Ants in PSL
A big problem with big headed ants in Port St. Lucie that’s allowing them to grow so much is that a big headed ant colony can have multiple big headed ant queens. These queens all want to reproduce, so colonies grow lightning fast into supercolonies.
Big headed ant supercolonies can extend over multiple homes, which creates the big challenge that we’ll keep talking about throughout this post!
How to Identify Big Headed Ants
The large bobble-looking head is the most identifiable characteristic of the big-headed ant and where it gets its name. They’re also often brown or even red, so if you see a red ant with a big head and assume it’s a fire ant, it’s more likely to be a big headed ant.
How to Get Rid of Big Headed Ants in Port St. Lucie
First, find the ant colonies. Ask your neighbor’s if they’ve noticed any ant problems so you can tag-team if you find yourself in a supercolony infestation (pssst: if you refer someone to us, you’ll get a $50 coupon!)
If you want to get rid of the ants yourself, you can try using a granular bait to eliminate as many as possible. The only big problem is that the effects are usually temporary, especially with a large infestation.
Big headed ants can build colonies and supercolonies so rapidly it can be hard to keep up with them, which is why you might want to call for extra help.
Native Pest Management has the experience and products you need to eliminate the infestation in your home quickly and completely, all while reducing the population of a harmful invasive species!
How to Prevent Big Headed Ants in Port St. Lucie
If you want a quick, easy, and effective plan, professional pest control is often the best option when preventing and controlling big-headed ant infestations.
One prevention tip is to remove possible nesting spots near the house. Firewood piles, loose slabs, and debris piled against the house become potential nesting sites for the big-headed ant. Try to remove these things by placing them further away from your home’s foundation.
Then, triple check that there are no cracks or gaps near your doors and windows and fix any structural problems in your home. If you find any ant-sized openings, you can use caulk to seal ‘em up.
Since big headed ants can be lawn pests, you also might want to consider lawn pest control to treat your lawn, soil and palms or other plants.
Pest control companies like Native Pest Management are all about preventative ant control. We don’t just fix an infestation once, we’re there to make sure that you never have to worry about big headed ants.
Give us a call today to learn more about our preventative pest control strategies!
When to Call Pest Control for Big Headed Ants
Many homeowners try to come up with their own solutions for pest control to save money and time, and when dealing with a more minor issue, this can be smart and effective, so I applaud you if that’s what you’re aiming for.
But keep in mind, there are several other important things to think about if you come across an invasive pest like the big-headed ant in and around your home. It’s important to know when to call ant control near me.
First things first, if you’re seeing live ants inside your home, it is an indication that there might be another problem somewhere. It’s important to locate the source of the infestation, and with big-headed ants, there may be multiple sources.
Big-headed ants are not the only ones that will invade your home. Pharaoh ants, Argentine ants, carpenter ants, and other types of ants can cause structural issues in your home. Regardless of which type of ants you're dealing with, professional pest control is the solution that will get rid of ants the quickest without risking more damage.
You can also take a look at your plants for some evidence. If you’ve noticed any damage to your indoor or outdoor plants, or have noticed tiny white bugs on your palm trees, those can be a major source of your big headed ant issues.
Ants like big-headed ants like to feed on a substance called honeydew, which comes from insects like whiteflies, scale, mealybugs or aphids on your plants and palm trees. As long as there’s insects producing honeydew around, ants in Port St. Lucie like big-headed ants, pavement ants, sugar ants and ghost ants will be around too.
Also, the ant infestation could be way bigger than what you can see. You may think your problem is tiny when you’re actually dealing with an infestation that started two houses away from you.
If you call pest control, they can eliminate these insects and eliminate your ant problem at the same time.
Ant control in Port St. Lucie requires lots of knowledge about ants, which seems obvious, but here me out: There are usually multiple factors that come into play with ant infestations, whether the ants are in your kitchen, on the foundation of your home, or hidden on the trees and plants in your yard.
If you call professional pest control, you won’t have to worry about knowing everything, because you’re putting the problem into professional hands!
Ant Exterminator Near Me in Port St. Lucie
Living alongside so many pests in Port St. Lucie, you might know that pest control is a year-round effort, so at times it can be difficult and even stressful to keep up with.
You don’t need to deal with pests like big headed ants on your own. As an invasive species, they can be pretty tricky. So, if you see or suspect big-headed ants around your home, or inside your home, call Native Pest Management at (772) 205-3474.
We know all about ant behaviors and ant control in Port St. Lucie, and we want to help. We can come up with the perfect plan to get rid of big headed ants in your house fast and effectively so you can get back to normal and relax in your home.
Our goal is to keep your family and pets comfortable and healthy in the process and outcome, which is why our ant control treatments all involve pet friendly and eco-friendly products. So while you’re helping reduce a huge environmental issue with an invasive pest, you’ll also be ensuring the health of your loved ones.
With all of our service plans available, including one-time and recurring treatments, you can trust us that we’ll have the perfect one to meet your needs.
Do you need help with big-headed ants in Port St. Lucie, FL? Contact Native Pest Management today to schedule a FREE quote!