More than 200 ant species have been documented in Texas, and some of these species are categorized as pests. Most of the ant pests that inhabit Texas are native, but a small number are non-native species that have established in invasive habitat in the state. These invasive species tend to be the most troublesome ant pest species in Texas and other southern states. Some of these invasive species include the red-imported fire ant, the Argentine ant, and the longhorned crazy ant. The red imported fire ant’s expansion in the US is held in check by state and federal area-wide pest management programs in the southern states, but this species has become abundant in eastern and southeastern Texas, and it can be found in the west as well. Government programs are being developed to halt the expansion of Argentine ant and longhorned crazy ant habitats, but both of these species are continuing to spread rapidly throughout much of southern and central Texas. Some of the most pestiferous ant species are native and can be found in all regions of the state.
Several species of acrobat ants are categorized as house pests, and they invade homes throughout the state. These ants can be found under stones and in tree stumps, but they often invade homes where they seek out sweet-tasting human food sources. These ants can be recognized for their heart-shaped abdomen which they often raise above their heads, especially when they become disturbed. Argentine worker ants are light to dark brown and they typically nest outdoors, but they can become abundant on residential lawns where they may inflict damage to yard-grass. These ants are drawn to moisture, making them particularly abundant on irrigated lawns. Big-headed ants are aptly named for having visibly larger than usual heads and they feed naturally on honeydew but they often invade homes in search of sweet foods. Crazy ants are notable for their fast movements and they generally nest outdoors, but they are known for foraging indoors in large numbers. These ants are able to travel rapidly due to their long legs and they can be recognized for their greyish-black exterior.
Have you ever found more than one species of ant in your home?