The Allegheny Mound Ant

Allegheny Ants on the ground

HOW TO IDENTIFY ALLEGHENY MOUND ANTS. By Judy Gallagher – , CC BY 2.0, 

Allegheny mound ants (Formica exsectoides) are native to the Atlantic area of North America.  They are field ants that can build impressive mounds in open areas. They are common in the Midwest and Northeast. Allegheny mound ants are known to build some of the largest ant mounds in the world.

These ants are aggressive, and will definitely bite even if slightly disturbed. They rarely enter homes, but having an ant mound close to human living quarters can be risky.

HOW TO IDENTIFY ALLEGHENY MOUND ANTS

  • Their appearance is striking, with a read head and thorax, and a black abdomen
  • The long legs are black in colour as well
  • Can be of length varying from 3.2mm to 6.mm

Appearance, Behavior, and Signs of Allegheny Mound Ants

  • These ants are field ants, which mean they exclusively live in mounds.
  • An Allegheny ant mound will often have no vegetation around it, as these ants inject formic acid into the nearby plants, effectively killing them.
  • The mounds can be more than 1m tall, 5m wide and 1m deep into the soil. They are made of sand particles and are often interconnected.
  • Allegheny mound ants eat a variety of arthropods along with the sweet honeydew of aphids.
  • These ants give off a pungent formic acid odor if disturbed.
  • These ants need sunlight to survive, which is why they destroy all the vegetation (that can give shade) are around 50 feet near the mound.
  • If you have mounds very close to your house, you might see a few stray ants wandering inside. Sighting of these ants is often the best indicator of their presence.
  • Allegheny mound ant can come in trails inside the house if there is suitable prey (such as insects).
  • floorboards or walls nearby. Acrobat ants will immediately seize this opportunity and build a nest there.

HOW DO YOU GET ALLEGHENY MOUND ANTS


Allegheny mound ant colony

Allegheny mound ants. By Ιακώβ – originally posted to Flickr as Allegheny mound ant colony at Fort Custer, CC BY 2.0, 

Allegheny mound ants don’t usually like invading human spaces, as they have no need to do so. But you may find yourself encountering these ants within your house if there is a mound nearby.

If your house has a particularly large influx of insects, Allegheny mound ants might come inside to hunt them. They can enter the house through cracks in walls, doors, and windows.

Wire openings and pipelines also provide a suitable entryway. If you have a large garden or backyard, you might find yourself with an ant mound there. These ants will end up destroying your beautiful garden plants!


HOW TO GET RID OF ALLEGHENY MOUND ANTS


It is better to leave the task of getting rid of Allegheny mound ants to professional exterminators, but there are two methods that you can try on your own. Cover yourself up thoroughly before trying these methods out.

  • Drench the mounds with cypermethrin. You can also spray with mound with water after breaking it open.
  • Use a shovel to break apart the mound and drench it with insecticide. You have to be very careful while doing this, as the aggravated ants will definitely bite.

Allegheny Mound Ant Facts


  • The worker ants are not uniform in size. They can be anywhere from 1/8 to ¼ inches long.
  • The mounds of these ants have multiple queens. This can make it harder to eliminate their colony.
  • Allegheny mound ant bites are painful because of the presence of formic acid in their stingers.
  • These ants are often confused with fire ants, but Allegheny mound ants build mounds bigger than the ones fire ants build.
  • The mounds, which are always under direct sunlight, act as an incubator for the eggs and larvae.
  • These ants are specifically found in the region extending from Nova Scotia to Georgia.