While they are found throughout the United States, Dorymyrmex pyramicus, also known as “pyramid ants,” are much more common in sunnier southern states. They prefer to nest in open, dry, sunny areas, making them prone to places like big lawns, pastures, and any other bare or sandy area. They are not the worst ants to have infest your home, as they actually eat other insects such as fire ants and are highly predacious. They do not have a stinger and are nonaggressive in nature, although they will bite occasionally if they perceive a threat towards the colony. So, in one sense, they are beneficial to have around. On the other hand, because of this very diet, a large infestation could indicate that those more dangerous ants are also nearby. They also give off what many consider a foul odor similar to rotten coconut when disturbed or crushed. In a perfect world, no insects would ever cross into our homes and we wouldn’t even have to think about these things…
Pyramid ants are fairly easy to recognize. They are around 1/16 to ⅛ inch long, with a head and thorax that run from brown to reddish black and an abdomen that is generally darker than the rest of its body. The pyramid-shaped projection near the rear of its thorax makes this ant species easier to identify and is the reason behind their common name. Luckily, they generally only nest outside, building those nests near those of other ant species. Their colonies are not terribly large, with each having a single queen and a couple thousand individuals. During construction, pyramid ants tend to create cone-shaped mounds, which can mess with lawn care and ruin landscaping.
While they don’t usually nest indoors, they have been known to enter homes to forage for sweets. To keep pyramid ants from foraging inside your home, it is best to seal all possible points of entry into your house such as small cracks or crevices around doors and windows. Seeing living or dead pyramid ants could be a sign of an infestation, but a sure bet that they are building nests below ground are the volcano-shaped mounds left behind in the ground they’ve disturbed. If you see this, then you need to contact a pest control professional to come in and check out the situation.
Have you ever had to call in a professional to deal with a pyramid ant infestation?
Tags: Ant Control, Ant Exterminator, Ant inspection