Argentine ants are a common pest in Georgia. They are very small – about 3 mm long and dark colored. Their colonies have multiple queens. They like moist places and sweet food. They “farm” scales and aphids on plants, protecting them from predators, and consuming their sweet secretions. This damages the plants. You can often see their trails climbing trees, bushes, and buildings. They usually enter our homes in search of food and water.
Killing worker ants has little effect, because the queens can produce many more workers. People commonly make argentine ants worse by spraying trails that come into the house with an OTC product. This triggers a natural defense mechanism in Argentine Ants known as ‘colony budding’ that can actually make the problem worse.