The white footed ant (Technomyrmex difficilis Forel), is considered a serious ant pest species in Florida. It was first collected in a nursery in Homestead in 1986 and later identified as WhiteFooted Ant in Miami.
White footed Ant a Severe Invasive Pest
Colonies can vary from 8,000 to over 3 million ants. White-footed ants will feed on plant nectar and a sweet excrement of sap-sucking insects such as aphids, mealy bugs, and scales which is called honeydew, thus a symbiotic relationship occurs with these pests and ants.
The white-footed ants is a small to medium sized ant 3/33 to 1/8 of an inch long, they appear to be black and can be confused with the crazy ant which is much thinner in appearance and faster.
Almost half of the entire white-footed ant colony is comprised of fertile reproducing females called intercastes, these are usually inseminated by males.
Splitting of colonies and the new creation of a colony happens when a dealate queen is replaced by the intercastes, a new colonies is easily created by the process known as budding, ants leave the old colony with other ants and brood to create a new nest site. Winged females live about 400 days from the time they start the colony.
Foraging and Feeding Habits of White footed Ants
White footed ants will send many foragers out from their nesting site to search for food. Ants leave behind a hormone trail known as pheromone which is how they know to follow a trail to food and back to the nest, A long foraging trail can be observed with white footed ant
Nesting Sites of White footed Ants
The white-footed ants tend to nest at or above ground level in attics, trees, under piles of leaves, on trees and bushes, palm fronds and old leaf boots, under debris, in mulch, and wall voids
Control of White footed Ants
White-footed ants are extremely difficult ants to control due to the giant size of their colonies especially in multi unit housing and townhomes.
Glucose or sugar gel and liquid baits are the only type of bait that will control WFA. It is crucial that white-footed ants we correctly identified in order to select the correct bait formulation as there dozens of sugar baits on the market. Systemic root drench treatment needs to be made to plants around buildings to control honeydew producing plants pest to eliminate the competing natural sugar they produce.
Trimming plants, palm fronds and tree limbs away from touching the home stopping ants from bridging onto the home.