Thatching Ants – (Red Ants, Biting Ants, Mound Ants)
Thatching ants, often called red ants, or biting ants, are a group of ants belonging to the Genus Formica. These ants are extremely important to the local ecology, but occasionally they can invade homes and structures. They are often found nesting in insulated wall voids, rarely causing damage, but on occasion can nest behind electrical outlets, causing potential electrical problems. Additionally, if a large nest mound (see photo below) is on your property, it can become very uncomfortable! These mounds can grow to be over 1/2 a meter tall and over a 1 meter in diameter. Occasionally, many mounds can be formed in the same area, and create a “super colony” of multiple nest sites (polydomy), interconnected through trails of workers (1) . Although they do not “sting”, Thatching Ants can bite hard enough to pierce the skin, and spray formic acid onto the bite site as a defense mechanism, which often feels like you’ve been “stung”. Thatching ants are in commonly found throughout Duncan, Ladysmith, Nanaimo, Parksville, Qualicum, and Port Alberni. Nanaimo Pest Control has extensive experience controlling Thatching Ants, and Field Ants, which can often be treated with baits alone, or in conjunction with spot treatments. Call or email us 250-755-6858 or Toll Free at 1-855-335-0330
Another common Formica species in Greater Victoria is Formica fusca (see photo above), commonly called the field ant. This ant has a black head, thorax, and abdomen, and is occasionally misidentified by homeowners as a carpenter ant. This ant occasionally nests in homes and buildings, especially when soil has been set too high against the siding of a structure.
(Nerd Alert! We love ants!)
(1) Thatching Ants – Super Colony Published Paper (PDF)