Adult field ant; depression in thorax (April Nobile, Antweb.org)
Field ant workers (David Cappaert, Michigan State University, Bugwood.org)
Field ant mound (Steven Katovich, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org)
- black or reddish brown and black
- one node (bump between middle and rear body sections)
- most common ant found in yards and gardens
- often mistaken for carpenter ants, but not as likely to forage indoors (observed indoors most commonly in spring)
- ants of multiple sizes
- depression in thorax differentiates them from carpenter ants
- nest outdoors in loose soil
- may produce mounds (sometimes incorporating twigs, dried leaves and other plant materials) in exposed areas or nest under rocks, logs, etc.
- do not frequently come indoors
- variety of foods
- prefer sweet materials such as honeydew excreted by aphids and other insects
- can be scavengers or predators
- become a nuisance during swarming flights
- can create mounds in turf areas
- Seal potential ant entryways.
- Store food in airtight containers and dispose of trash regularly.
- Locate and destroy nests in lawns and adjacent areas.
- Control soft scale, mealybug or aphid populations on nearby ornamental plants.
IPM for Ants: Integrated Pest Management in Sensitive Environments (University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension)