The Harvester Ant
Most commonly found at high elevations in western portions of the United States, harvester ants are a hard-working pest that can quickly become established on your lawn. These pests prefer flat, poorly shaded lawns, and are difficult to get rid of once they have become established. The most common harvester ant species in the United States are the California harvester ant, the Florida harvester ant, and the black harvester ant, though there are several other predominant species in the country as well.
HOW TO IDENTIFY HARVESTER ANTS
These large, robust ants are red or black in color and reach up to ten millimeters long. They build galleries over six hundred centimeters deep. These ants get their name from their habit of gathering seeds from surrounding areas. Seeds serve as their primary food source. These ants clear large areas around the nest entrance hole, giving them the ability to completely destroy your lawn or garden. A telltale sign of infestation is one of these mounds, which the ants make as they move soil away from the nest. If you think you might have a harvester ant infestation, scour your lawn for sightings of nests and similar structures.
Appearance, Behavior, and Signs
Harvester ants are commonly found in the United States, with many desert-dwelling species living in the remote areas of the country. Nests usually have one entrance hole and will be surrounded by a clear patch of soil up to thirty feet in diameter. These ants have six legs and a two-segmented body. The midsection has a pair of spines on the top, and many species have multiple long hairs on their heads.
Harvester ants create large mounds that they move frequently, usually changing them as a result of overly shady conditions. They swarm during the summer, usually after a rainfall.