Be on the lookout for the hardy harvester ant as the weather gets hotter. While most of us get slower and less active when it’s hot, this is not true of insects like harvester ants, which get more active as temperatures rise. Although they might take a brief rest during the hottest part of the day, don’t mistake that for inactivity. Very soon they’re up and busy again and headed straight for your vegetation.
They’ll Harvest for You
Unlike other insects that can infest and damage homes and other structures, harvester ants – as their name suggests – love your plants and the vegetation you’re growing outside.
Chances are you’ve seen them – red or reddish-brown and sometimes black, between ¼” and ½” long. Of the 22 species found in the U.S., in Arizona you’re most apt to see the California harvester ant, red harvester ant and Western Harvester ant.
Beware of Their Nests!
Harvester ants can be found heading for their nests with seeds bulging out of their large mandibles. You’ll recognize their nests by the mounds of food debris around their openings – and they can have up to 3 entrances AND be up to 3 feet deep!
Don’t examine their nests too closely though – they have a stinger and will use it if they think their nests are threatened. Rumor has it they’ve even killed small pigs.
Instead, if you see harvester ants – or have problems with any other pests of the non-human type -- contact Bill’s Home Service at 520-625-2381.