An invasive ant species known as Brachymyrmex patagonicus, commonly known as the dark rover ant, was first found within sawdust from a recently removed oak tree in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana back in 1976. Since then this species has established colonies along the Gulf Coast region. These ants have become abundant within the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida, but smaller populations exist within other nearby states. These ants are known for infesting structures in large numbers. Common structures where these ants are found include homes, businesses and hospitals. The dark rover ant is a pest to both natural and man made environments. Natural environments where these ants can be found include pine forests, beaches, prairies, and mixed forests. These ants are often found within landscaping mulch, which has enabled their spread into new regions and has allowed them to gain quick access into homes, where their pest activity is particular significant.
Most rover ant colonies in the US are found within or near human populated areas, especially recreational sites. Infestations have been found within state parks, restaurants, grocery stores and gas stations. Like all invasive habitats, rover ant habitats are quickly repopulated after being cleared by pest control professionals. These ants have also been found sharing habitats with red imported fire ants. In many cases, red imported fire ant colonies are situated next to rover ant colonies within the US. When it comes to home infestations of rover ants, colonies are found within kitchens, behind walls, bathrooms, light sockets and electrical outlets and beneath shingles. For the past few years, the Mississippi extension office has received more calls in reference to rover ants than all other ants combined. Luckily, rover ants do not cause structural damage and they do not inflict bites to humans, but infestations are difficult to remove from structures, and they gravitate toward sweet foods stored within kitchen cupboards.
Have you ever experienced an ant infestation within your home?