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I have an indoor ant problem. They are tiny, reddish, with a long petiole before a heart-shaped abdomen. They especially like grease and meat. Raid has been somewhat effective, but new colonies show up in odd rooms (I am in an upstairs condo). Yesterday a new colony found my leopard gecko, and attacked her. Her toes were targeted especially, but when I found her the wounds didn't seem too bad, but she must have been stung a lot since she went lethargic and died later in the day. Most websites recommend identifying the species before trying to control them but I haven't been successful in finding a good identification guide. From what I can tell, they aren't sugar, carpenter, grease, white-footed, or other common indoor ants. Any suggestions?

Answer(s)

A

Hi Pamela,

Pear-shaped abdomen, huh?  Those could be acrobat ants...  It would be ideal
if you could capture some, put them in alcohol, and send to the lab for
identification.  If not, you hinted that they liked proteinaceous foods
(grease and meat).  This could be used against them in the form of
proteinaceous baits (MaxForce, etc.).  They do make different formulations
of baits, and some work better than others.  The key to baits is that
worker ants must pick it up and take it back to the nest to share, hopefully
feeding some to the queen.  Baits are designed to be slow-acting as to
exploit ants social feeding behaviors and may take a few days to weeks to be
effective. Raid only kills workers, and will have no effect against ant
colonies, unless you spray the nest and queen directly.

Here is a link to pictures of acrobat ants:
http://bugguide.net/node/view/36399/bgimage

Please let me know what you would like to do.

Posted on 28 Oct 2008

Ryan Davis
Arthropod Diagnostician, Utah Plant Pest Diagnostic Laboratory

Answer(s)

A

Hi Pamela,

Heart-shaped abdomen, huh?  Those could be acrobat ants...  It would be ideal
if you could capture some, put them in alcohol, and send to the lab for
identification.  If not, you hinted that they liked proteinaceous foods
(grease and meat).  This could be used against them in the form of
proteinaceous baits (MaxForce, etc.).  They do make different formulations
of baits, and some work better than others.  The key to baits is that
worker ants must pick it up and take it back to the nest to share, hopefully
feeding some to the queen.  Baits are designed to be slow-acting as to
exploit ants social feeding behaviors and may take a few days to weeks to be
effective. Raid only kills workers, and will have no effect against ant
colonies, unless you spray the nest and queen directly.

Here is a link to pictures of acrobat ants:
http://bugguide.net/node/view/36399/bgimage

Please let me know what you would like to do.

Posted on 28 Oct 2008

Ryan Davis
Arthropod Diagnostician, Utah Plant Pest Diagnostic Laboratory

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