Hypoponera punctatissima is an ant species without an approved common name, but in many parts of the world it is known as Roger’s ant. This species’ workers are only 1/16-inch long, and the winged females found in mating swarms are only about 1/8-inch long. Their body is brownish-yellow, and their head is shiny. Hypoponera punctatissima is one of the many tramp ants that have invaded the United States.
BEHAVIOR, DIET & HABITS
Hypoponera punctatissima originally was introduced into Florida and spread widely from there. Foraging workers and the ant’s nest are often very hard to locate and are secretive in nature. Thus, it is very likely this ant may be more widespread than what is known to be its current distribution area. Unlike most other ant species, this ant is usually noted by the appearance of winged queens as they swarm and mate with the wingless males. In addition, their cryptic nature is further enhanced by the fact that they are not active unless temperatures exceed 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This behavioral characteristic is associated with their year-round activity in heated environments such as inside homes, greenhouses, businesses and crawl spaces below heated structures. Soil insects and other arthropods are their main food sources.
Although H. punctatissima ants are not considered to be serious pests, they can create annoyance problems when swarms of winged, female reproductives land on people and are trapped under clothing or become entrapped in sweat and sting.
Hypoponera punctatissima reproduction involves mating of winged, female flying ants and non-winged males.
SIGNS OF AN INFESTATION
The presence of winged ants that sting is probably the best way to determine a by Hypoponera punctatissima infestation.
Since the initial introduction of these ants into Florida, they have expanded their distribution to include Arizona, California, Florida, Iowa, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Washington
Controlling Hypoponera punctatissima ants is best left to your pest management professional (PMP). Your PMP will conduct an inspection to locate the presence of ant nests and then use chemical and bait products to bring about ant control. In general, control of these ants is very difficult and may require sub-slab treatments with an approved insecticide.