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Invasive Ants of America

Ants are some of those bugs we know we can’t get rid of. They always find a way to survive in our backyards. Most ants tend to keep to themselves. They’ll set up camp and go about their daily business. However some ants intrude into unwanted territory and wreak havoc for all of the surrounding bug life. The following ants have established their dominance and continue to invade throughout new locations.

1. Fire Ants

Red Imported Fire Ant

Red Imported Fire Ants were introduced into the U.S. in the 1930’s through Alabama cargo shipments. They’re originally from Brazil and nearby South American countries. They’re found all throughout the southern United States from California to Florida. These are the ants that you will most likely encounter in your backyard.
Fire ants are a huge problem in the United States. They’re actually much more prevalent and successful in the U.S. than in their native Brazil. When the fire ants were first imported to America, their natural predators were not, thus allowing them to dominate in the U.S. In comparison to other ant species, fire ants are dominant. However, some of the other invasive ant species on this list have been known to put up a strong resistance.

These ants also cause millions in electrical damage. They infiltrate electrical products and chew at the wires causing things like appliances, street lights, power lines, etc to malfunction; creating quite the headache for prey and people alike.

2. Argentine Ants

Argentine Ants

Argentine ants are also not American natives, but were accidentally introduced from their native Argentina through the port of New Orleans around 1891. These invaders can be found in southeastern states of the U.S. along with California. Not only did these ants invade the states, but Argentine ants can also be found in South Africa, New Zealand, Japan, Easter Island, Austria, and Europe.

Argentine ants are a phenomenon to scientists for their colonial behavior. Most ants establish small colonies with one queen and many workers, but the Argentine ant establishes what is called a super colony. This super colony has many queens with thousands of workers. A supercolony in Europe is 3,700 miles in length.

Towards other species of ants the Argentine ant is extremely aggressive. It has been known to tussle with the Red Imported Fire Ant and come out victorious. However for every victory, comes a defeat. The Asian Needle ant, which is next on our list of invasive ants, has been known to displace the Argentine ant.

3. Asian Needle Ants

needle ant

The Asian Needle ant is a native of China, Japan and Korea, but can now be found on the Atlantic coast of the United States; from Connecticut to Florida. This ant has been around for quite some years, since about the early 1900’s, but has emerged dominant in the recent decade.

The Asian Needle ant is quite powerful. Studies have recently shown it outmatching the super aggressive Argentine ant. The Asian Needle ant seems to have a few advantages on the Argentine ant. While most species of ants hibernate through the winter, Asian Needle ants wake up much sooner than Argentine Ants. This gives them a head start on building up their colony.

4. Crazy Ants

Ants on raspberries

Crazy Ants have a few different names; from Tawny Crazy Ants to Raspberry Crazy Ants, the common factor is definitely that they’re crazy. These ants are also from South America, more specifically Brazil and Argentina. They have made their presence known in the United States especially in southeast Texas. Crazy ants have been able to displace fire ants, especially in Texas. Unlike other ants, these ants don’t organize single-file, but are much more spread out and run around in a “crazy” manner. These ants will literally invade anything; from boxes to pots and anything with moisture.

Author Bio: Heydi Ruelas is a journalism student and blogger for Bulwark Exterminating, an industry leader in providing high quality ant control service. When I’m not playing with my two adorable nieces, I’m on the tennis court chasing that little green ball around.