Within the United States, white foot or white-footed ants are prevalent in Florida, and small infestations are documented in 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 are moderately small, measuring 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.
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 between 8,000 and 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. White-footed ants often invade food containers to feed their colonies. Additionally, they feed on plant secretions and honeydew produced by aphids, scales and mealybugs; white-footed ants protect these species.
It is difficult to eradicate 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. To address a white-footed ant infestation, a pest control professional should be contacted.