White Footed Ant

Technomyrmex albipes

Within the United States, white foot or white-footed ants are prevalent in Florida, South Carolina, Louisiana and other coastal southern states. The white-footed ant is also common in Polynesia, Japan, Africa, Hawaii, New Zealand and the British West Indies. White-footed ants infest both urban and suburban habitats, spreading to other areas through the transportation of infested landscaping materials and plants.

White-footed ants are moderately small, measuring 2.5 to 3 millimeters in length. They have black or brown colors with pale, yellowish feet and one-segmented waists. The bodies of white-footed ants have five abdominal segments, a few erect hairs and twelve-segmented antennae. Although white-footed ants might appear similar to Argentine ants, they do not have the Argentine ant’s vertical petiole.

White-footed ants do not sting or bite, nor have they been reported to cause structural damages. However, because each colony of white foot ants contains between 8,000 and three million individuals, they can become a nuisance. They can infest indoor areas in search of food and are found in bathrooms, kitchens and along the exteriors of homes. White-footed ants often invade food containers in order to feed their colonies. Additionally, because they feed on plant secretions and honeydew produced by aphids, scales and mealybugs, white-footed ants protect these species, which can lead to agricultural problems. White-footed ants can sometimes improve agricultural conditions: they have been reported to feed on the eggs of coconut caterpillars, which are major pests in Sri Lanka.

It is difficult to eradicate a white-footed ant infestation, as they eat various foods, their small body size enables them to enter most structures and they do not share food with their colonies, so bait is usually ineffective against this species. Their colonies are large and they build multiple nests close to a parent colony. To address a white-footed ant infestation, call Dirks to professional treat.

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