This ant species doesn’t currently have a common name, but is classified by ant experts in the same family as the more familiar Argentine ant, which it resembles in appearance. F. pruinosis is dark brown or black, although some may have an abdomen that is more lightly colored. Also, its head is somewhat rectangular in shape.
BEHAVIOR, DIET & HABITS
While F. pruinosus is an occasional invader of homes and commercial businesses, it is more commonly found in outdoor habitats such as grasslands and open woodlands with exposed ground. It often chooses to build its nest in soil under rocks or other items in direct contact with the ground. A crater-shaped mound of excavated soil is often seen around the nest entrance. F. pruinosus nests are small compared to many other ant species with only a few thousand individuals in the nest.
Forelius pruinosus eat insects and may scavenge on other small animals, but they prefer honeydew produced by aphids, scales and mealybugs. Workers are fast-moving food foragers that typically follow the edges of structural things such as sidewalks, porches, patios and driveways.
The mating swarms of winged males and females typically occur in the summer months from May to July.
SIGNS OF AN INFESTATION
The more obvious signs of these ants are foraging trails, their crater-shaped nest entrances and their “farming” of aphids, scales and mealybugs on plants
Forelius pruninosus is a native ant species found from New York to Wisconsin and southward to Florida and New Mexico. It has also been found in Arizona, California, Missouri, Nevada, Utah, Washington and Oregon.
Your pest management professional (PMP) is the best source of support for managing F. pruinosus infestations. When requested, your PMP will provide an inspection designed to locate and manage these ants. Once their nests are located, he or she can use chemical products to treat their nests and foraging ants. Also, your PMP will help you identify things on your property that can provide nesting sites and recommend these items be removed or reduced in number.