Facts, Identification & Control
AppearanceWhat Do They Look Like?
- Antennae: Unlike most other ants, this genus has antennae that are only 9 segmented, rather than antennae with 12 or more segments.
- Body: Their thorax is uneven with the front portion having a hump-like appearance.
- Color: They vary in color from pale yellow to blackish-brown.
- Size: Rover worker ants are very small, only about 2.5 mm long.
How Did I Get Rover Ants?Outdoors
Outdoors, these very small insects live in mulch, leaf litter, and trash piles. They are common in urban areas with high levels of human activity. Moisture attracts rover ants, so these pests may often show up in swimming pools or overwatered gardens.Indoors
Because they can survive in various habitats, colonies may move indoors looking for sweet foods or shelter. Homeowners find them in bathrooms and kitchens during hot, dry summer months. Rover ants typically enter through cracks in home foundations and other gaps that provide an entryway inside the home.
How Serious Are Rover Ants?Do They Cause Damage?
Rover ants do not consume wood and do not cause structural damage to homes or other buildings. However, rover ants are known to be especially annoying since they readily infest homes, hospitals, and businesses to forage and/or construct nests in wall voids. Fortunately, colonies are small – ranging from hundreds to a few thousands members.Do They Bite?
The pests do not bite, sting, or transfer diseases. Their infestations are hard to control, which enables these ants to become major nuisances inside homes. Many residents also confuse rover ants with other ant species, further complicating removal and prevention. A rover ant colony may build nests inside:
- Cinder blocks
- Electrical outlets
- Light sockets
- Wall voids
How Do I Get Rid of Rover Ants?What You Can Do
Since infestations are often associated with moisture and fungal decay, efforts to remediate moisture problems will greatly help. It is recommended that wood damaged by water should be replaced and nesting areas in moist areas under debris, landscape timbers, or rocks should also be addressed. In addition, sealing entrance points that ants and other pests can use to get into the home or building is beneficial.What Orkin Does
Chemical products may also be needed to obtain an acceptable level of control. The use of insecticides to target and treat nests, plus the application of perimeter treatments will aid greatly. Gel baits and dusts may be used in electrical sockets for indoor control, and aerosols provide good products to use in wall voids.
Your local Orkin technician is trained to help manage rover ants and similar pests. Since every building or home is different, your Orkin technician will design a unique program for your situation.
Orkin can provide the right solution to keep rover ants in their place…out of your home, or business.
Behavior, Diet & HabitsWhat Do They Eat?
The diet of rover ants consists of honeydew produced by aphids, scale insects, and proteins from other living and dead insects.Where Do They Live?
Rover ants build their nests in both natural and disturbed habitats. In their urban habitat, they frequently nest in mulch and objects on the ground such as stones, bricks, landscape timbers, and leaf litter. Also, rover ant nests can be found in potted plants. Some of their preferred natural habitats include:
- Mixed hardwood forests
- Pine forests
Rover ants are another of the invasive ant species that were introduced into the U.S. from other parts of the world and have progressively spread their distribution primarily to the southern, coastal states. Rover ants are common along the Gulf of Mexico and in some cities of Arizona, California, and Nevada.Reproduction
Colony formation begins with mating flights of winged male and female individuals called reproductives. Mating flights usually take place at night during summer.