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White-Footed Ants In South Florida

White-Footed Ants

Technomyrmex Difficilis

White-footed ants are about 1/8” long. Their body is black in color while the legs are yellowish-white. White-footed ants have become a major pest in South Florida because colonies can grow to several million workers. One interesting fact about this ant is that half of the colony are reproductive females called intercastes. These fertile females are inseminated by wingless males.

White-footed ants feed primarily on honeydew produced by aphids, mealybugs, or scales in plants. This ant protects these insects and in return they harvest their sugary secretions which they use for energy to expand and grow the colony. Because honeydew is their primary food source they usually nest in the soil or above ground so they can easily tend for these insects.

Despite their large numbers, White-footed ants do not bite or sting. Although they are known to nest in wall voids or attics, they do not cause structural damage. Inside the house White-footed ants usually are seen foraging in kitchens and bathrooms.

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