False honey ants are found throughout the state of Ohio. False honey ants will often invade homes all year long, including the coldest parts of winter. They will make their nest outside and inside of your home and other structures. False honey ants are able to thrive in many different climates, including those intensely cold, and can remain active all year long. False Honey ant invasions can be difficult to manage unless the nest is found and directly treated. A Five Star Termite & Pest Control will share more about false honey ants and why they are considered a threat. We will also share tips on how to prevent them from invading your home.
False Honey Ant Identification
Usually, the false honey ants are a light golden color with a striped abdomen. However, some false honey ants can also be a dark brown and even almost black in color. The workers are 1/8 on an inch long and have tiny hairs that cover their abdomen, which make them look fuzzy. Both young males and females will develop wings and fly away from their nest to mate. This occurs during the spring and goes throughout the summer. Most females return home after mating. However, some females will leave the nest to begin her own. It is not uncommon to see a false honey ant nest with multiple queens. One unique trait about false honey ants is that one type of worker ant acts as food storage for intense winters. These worker ants are called Repletes. They will grip the ceiling of the nest and develop engorged abdomens that secretes a sweet honeydew produced as food.
What Do False Honey Ants Eat?
During the spring and summer, false honey ants will forage for food. Their main focus is dew, which is sucked from other insects such as aphids. However, another smaller portion of their diet consists of eating other insects and plants. When they invade a home, they are most interested in sweets. False honey ants can be found eating spilled soda, juices, and will eat candy and other sweets. Due to their tolerance to the cold, they are often called a winter ant as they will become more aggressive in their search for food. Many of the insects they harvest dew from will die or leave during the winter. Therefore, they must find alternate food source. They will often invade homes more intently during the winter for this reason.
How Do You Get Rid of False Honey Ants?
When a home has a false honey ant invasion, often it requires a pest control technician to come and treat the home. There are many methods to pest control. One of the most effective methods when dealing with false honey ants is by injecting the small cracks and gaps long the outside of the home with a dust insecticide or a gas insecticide. Inside the home, the dust insecticide is often best. Treating the small cracks can seal off their foraging route. If the nest can be located, often the nest site is treated as well. Sweet bait may also be used and is placed in the path of the false honey ant paths. To prevent a false honey ant invasion, it is recommended to keep the inside of the home clean and free of crumbs or spills that may attract the ants. Additionally use airtight seal-able containers to store your pantry goods. Avoid leaving snacks or fruit out as that will attract the ants also.