Pyramid Ants

Preventing Pyramid Ant Invasions

A clean house removes some of the enticements for pyramid ants to enter your house. Pyramid ants are attracted to sweets, which makes it imperative to  wipe up any food remains on to countertop, floor or in food storage areas. Do your best to seal cracks and crevices that allow access.  Doors and windows are obvious places to properly weatherize, so as to seal ants out. Pyramid ants prefer open, sunny ground.  This makes it easy to find their nests.  Mark the nests so that it is easier to locate when treating at a later date. Try to trace trails back to the originating nest rather than simply self-treating what you see immediately.

Pyramid Ant Food Sources

The Pyramid Ant has several food sources. Their primary food source is protein from the bodies of ants, or other insects. Non-insect food sources include honeydew, a sweet juice, produced by sap sucking insects, usually aphids or mealybugs. When Pyramid Ants invade a home they are often in search of sweet foods. Be sure to clean up syrups, spilled soda or similarly sweet foods.

Pyramid Ant

Pyramid Ant Dangers

It is important to be aware that not only do pyramid ants pose few, if any dangers to humans, in fact, they are a beneficial species that preys upon the Red Imported Fire Ant (RIFA), thereby limiting the aggressive expansion of RIFA.  To the degree that it can control RIFA, one might consider it a beneficial insect.  

Biology of the Pyramid Ant

Traits and characteristics: Pyramid ants are 1/8th of an inch long. Pyramid ants have two major colorations: a) a black body with a red head, or b) red head and black body. The colony exists around a single queen. The colony has a small population of workers – a few hundred to a few thousand members. This ant can be found by locating their cone shaped nests. Pyramid Ant nests commonly have a ‘boneyard’ where the workers of the nest will cast remains of other ant species that they have attacked and eaten.

Habitat and range of Pyramid Ant

Pyramid Ant habitat stretches across the southern United States from California to Florida and as far north in the east as the Carolinas.  Still, pyramid ants most heavily concentrated in the southwest. They prefer sunny dry areas with little or no plants nearby for their nests. They will usually concentrate their nests around other ant colonies, or other major food sources.

Professional Control of Pyramid Ants

Pyramid ants respond well to standard pest control procedures, such as baits and sprays. If the nest can be located, a soil drench can be used to destroy the colony. If the colony can not be located you can use a perimeter spray to either repel the ants.  Yet a better technique is to use non-repellents which will have a delayed kill factor, long enough for the ants to transport the insecticide back to the nest, where the ants infect the rest of the colony with various types of contact. But most of all, remember that the pyramid ant is considered a beneficial insect that will help you control real pests. So unless the pyramid ant threatens your house, even after you have taken preventative measures, please use restraint in choosing to eliminate them. For more information on ants and ant species, visit our page on Ant Control Call today to schedule service or for more information at 800-986-1006
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Pyramid Ant References

South Carolina Dept of Natural Resources – Pryamid ants Florida State University Entomology Department Texas A and M Urban Entomology Department University of California Riverside Urban Entomology by Walter Ebeling Chapter 6
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