Small Honey Ant Facts & Information
Protect your home or business from small honey ants by learning techniques for identification and control.
How do I get rid of small honey ants?
What Orkin Does
Your local Orkin technician is trained to help manage small honey ants and similar pests. Since every building or home is different, your Orkin technician will design a unique ant treatment program for your situation.
Orkin can provide the right solution to keep small honey ants in their place…out of your home, or business.
Behavior, Diet & Habits
Understanding Small Honey Ants
Size: They are about 0.08 to 0.2 inches long.
Body: Workers have a triangular-shaped abdomen that has a circle of hairs at the tip.
Color: Small honey ant workers are typically glossy variations of light and dark browns or black.
They are very cold weather tolerant and often are the first ant species to send out active foragers from the nest during the cold weather months. During hot weather, they spend much of their time in below-ground nests that might be up to several feet deep. They are strongly prone to using foraging trails, normally nest outdoors in the soil, but may also actively forage for and feed upon sweets inside. Small honey ants prefer sweets and aphids for the honeydew they produce.
Small honey ants construct their nests in open, shaded areas and may also nest in soil under shrubs, flower and garden beds, logs, or stones. Nests have many small galleries excavated in the soil with the excavated soil particles placed in a crater-shaped mound. However, if sweet substances are not sufficient to support a nest outdoors, workers may also forage inside for food and are known to actually build indoor nests. Still, another location for nests is the soil of potted plants.
Small honey ants are native to the United States from the Canadian border to Nebraska, south to Texas and Florida and in New Mexico, California, Oregon, and Washington.
Small honey ant colonies usually have one active queen. In the northern portion of the ant's distribution, a mated queen sheds her wings, finds suitable shelter, and begins a new colony of her own. In the southern portion of their range, several fertile females that have all chosen the same nest site may start a colony.
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