Species category: Ant
Scientific Name: Paratrechina longicornis
An Australasian native, they are found in rural and urban areas and are very prevalent in India.
They are often a pest of domestic environments and will build their nest in cracks or gaps, beside pathways. They generally enter the home in search of food.
Like other ant species, they will nest underground and also in voids, for e.g. roof voids or wall cavities.
They navigate away from and to the nest in trails. Follow the trail to find the nest. They will also swarm during the nuptial flight, which can be distressing for a building’s inhabitants.
It’s also an expert at creating nests in difficult to spot cracks and crevices, making colony elimination a tricky task. There can be more than one queen in the colony and reproduction is fast.
The Black Ant causes primary damage to foods. It also contaminates areas with faeces and when it disposes of ‘rubbish’ from the nest – this is typically body parts of dead colony members.
Scientific Name: Solenopsis geminata
A native of South America, the RIFA is also found in India and pose a threat to the environment.
Typically, they build their nest underground in mounds. The mounds are found in lawns or disrupting turf and have no obvious opening at the top. The RIFA is often discovered when someone inadvertently steps on a mound and they launch an attack.
Colonies can have single or multiple queens and they can reproduce at a very fast rate. Their diet is generally organic matter but they will also invade the home looking for sweet products or other protein-rich foods.
Under attack, they emit pheromones which prompt other members of the colony to launch a synchronized attack. A multiple attack is incredibly painful and some victims can suffer an allergic reaction.
The mounds can also be a nuisance, disrupting root growth and disturbing plant formation which can result in lower yield crops and patchy turf growth.
Scientific Name: Tapinoma melanocephalum
Found all across the world, they are one of the most widely distributed ant species.
Ghost Ants tend to prefer warmer, wet habitats. Colonies are generally located outside but there are also colonies that set up home inside. Indoor Ghost Ants select their habitats based on their preference for warmth and high moisture requirements. Their trails often lead to sinks, baths, toilets and showers.
The nests are frequently located within wall voids, behind skirting boards, or in potted plant soil. Workers run rapidly and erratically, trailing along edges and corners.
Indoors, they contaminate household foods by attacking any sugary items such as cakes, chocolate, sugar etc…
Scientific Name: Iridomyrmex spp.
They are sometimes confused with the Argentine ants but differ in colour and odour when crushed.
A native Australian species, they are now widely distributed across all states.
They can build their nests outside under stones but can also be found in wall cavities, they often only come indoors in search of a water source.
Scientific Name: Monomorium pharaonis
Widely distributed across Australia, they need warm, humid conditions which mean that in temperate lands they are confined to buildings and often found infesting hospitals.
Infestations are discovered in a wide variety of locations including residential blocks, hotels, hospitals, zoos and on board ships. In warmer climates, infestations can even be found outside.
The insects locate themselves in the fabric of buildings (wall voids, windows etc.) or in plants and sterile supplies. They can spread through service ducts (e.g. heating and electrical conduits). The ants forage for water around sinks and areas of condensation.
Ants forage for meat, cheese, fat, sugar, honey, jam etc. In hospital, they will feed on blood and intravenous diet fluids. Dead insects, mice and droppings can also provide a food source.
These social insects live in colonies from a few dozen to 300,000 ants. The ants can survive low temperatures for prolonged periods where the workers continue to forage for food.
Pharaoh ants pose a risk to health as pathogenic organisms can be transmitted when the ants feed in unhygienic places including drains, bins or even wound dressings.
Scientific Name: Technomyrmex albipes
Present all across India and in many parts of the world, these ants are native to tropical Asia.
Nests are more commonly located outdoors and there are often additional nests in close proximity. These new nests are created by the process of budding, where a selection of male and female ants leave the original nest and start a new colony.
Nests can be found in trees, shrubs or anywhere that will accommodate a group of ants including brick voids and behind fascias.
The White-Footed Ant is not a biting insect and primarily exists on sugary foods, particularly honeydew and occasionally proteins. Workers from this trailing species are very prevalent when foraging, as they can exist in large numbers.
Agricultural and crop damage is often worse in the presence of White-footed ants as they protect aphids and other bugs in order to feast on their sweet secretions. Protecting these bugs, allows them to destroy the plants they inhabit.