Florida's White Footed Ant

May 02nd, 2016

white footed antThis time of year, one of Florida’s most prolific ants is heating up.  They are called White Footed Ants, and you’ve probably seen them climbing up towards the eaves of your house at some point.  They don’t sting or damage property, but their colonies are incredibly large and spread out.  This size of their colonies can climb into the millions.  It takes a lot of sweets to feed an army that large.  When possible, they prefer to stay outside and eat nectar and honeydew (a byproduct of biting/sucking insects that feed off of plants.)  If, however, they find something in your house they want, they won’t hesitate to charge in and take it. 

Their aversion to pesticides makes them relatively easy to push out of a house, bet eliminating them from the property is incredibly difficult.  They love most sweet-based baits and will eat them voraciously.  This will reduce the populations, but in order to try to eliminate them the nests have to be “drenched.”  They often have multiple nests and can even nest several houses down to forage.  If they are doing this, eradication is impossible.  The focus must then turn to prevention.  The best prevention is treating all shrubs and bushes for insects like scale and aphids so the honeydew they love isn’t being manufactured right next to your house.  Periodic pest control treatments will work to stop problems before they get out of control again, but chemical treatments will only go so far.  Keeping bushes and trees trimmed off of the house will make it more difficult for them to get inside.  Cleaning leaves and brush piles up will make them have to work harder to find nesting sites.  These ants are very tough, but a comprehensive approach can solve them.