White Footed Ants

Facts, Identification & Control

Scientific Name: Technomyrmex difficilis

Appearance

White-footed ants are moderately small, measuring about 2.7 mm in length. They are black or brown in color with pale, yellowish feet and one-segmented waists. They have 12-segmented antennae with no club.
Behavior, Diet & Habits

Within the United States, white-footed ants are prevalent in Florida with infestations also documented in Georgia, South Carolina and Louisiana. White-footed ants infest both urban and suburban habitats, spreading to other areas through the transportation of infested landscaping materials and plants.

White-footed ants do not sting or bite, nor have they been reported to cause structural damage. However, because each colony of white-footed ants contains up to 3 million individuals, they can become a nuisance. They can infest indoor areas in search of food and are found in bathrooms, kitchens and along the exteriors of homes. This ant species feeds on sweets, proteins and dead insects. Additionally, they feed on plant secretions and honeydew produced by aphids, scales and mealy bugs that they protect.

It is difficult to control a white-footed ant infestation, as they eat various foods and their small body size enables them to enter most structures. Their colonies are large, and they build multiple nests close to a parent colony.

Reproduction

During June and July in southern Florida, males and females swarm and mate, an activity that produces egg-laying queens that establish and care for the new colony.

Signs Of An Infestation

Evidence of a trail of ants leading to and from their nest sites is the most obvious sign of an infestation.

More Information

To address a white-footed ant infestation, contact your pest management professional and request a thorough inspection. Your pest management professional will inspect commonly infested plants such as palms, fruit trees and plants that bloom with flowers. Also, your pest management professional will recommend proactive methods such as trimming trees and landscaping so they do not touch the foundation, roof or siding. Seal cracks and gaps that can allow ant entry inside the home.