Leaf Cutter Ants
What Do Leaf Cutter Ants Look Like?
Leaf cutter ants are dark brown to reddish-brown in color and usually, grow to a length of about ½ an inch. They can be differentiated from other ants by the row of three spines that grow along their heads and backs. These spines are used for carrying leaf fragments back to their nests.
Are Leaf Cutter Ants Dangerous?
These ants are not dangerous but they can be highly destructive for gardeners, and for those who enjoy landscaping their lawns and outdoor areas. Leaf cutter ants seem to be attracted to fruit-bearing trees and bushes, as well as ornamental grass. The loss of leaves can prove detrimental to these plants, especially as seedlings. Seedlings are most at risk during winter months, when food is more scarce for leaf cutter ants. They are more likely to completely remove leaves from small plants during this time.
Where Do Leaf Cutter Ants Nest?
Like fire ants, leaf cutter ants build their homes underground, which are characterized by large mounds of dirt which are pushed to the surface as the ants build their homes below. These underground nests can reach depths of 20 feet and may contain foraging tunnels up to 500 feet long that extend away from the nest. This means that one colony can move at a rather rapid pace when escaping predators and homeowners. To find nests, simply look for groups of shrubs and trees that have been stripped of their leaves. Leaf cutter ant mounds will likely be found nearby.
How Do I Get Rid of Leaf Cutter Ants?
Leaf cutter ants can be difficult to remove from homes and properties, as they do not respond well to many ant baits. Family offerscomprehensive Home Treatment Plans, though, that can be tailored to eradicate more than 20 pests, including leaf cutter ants. Our outdoor treatments protect your whole yard, with an emphasis on treating shrubs and nearby trees, as well, for complete coverage.
Family Pest’s Leaf Cutter Ant Prevention Tips
Predicting when leaf cutter ants will strike can be troublesome because the food source they are most attracted to is naturally occurring.
Some important step that homeowners can take are:
- To be vigilant about scanning for intruders in their lawns and gardens.
- Improve drainage around your property, as poor soil drainage can attract ants as they look for moist areas in which to dig their nests.