The High Noon Ant Is One Of The Most Common Ant Pests Of Homes In Arizona Where They Seek Out Sweet Foods Within Homes And Occasionally Inflict Bites
Forelius pruinosus is an ant species that is known to be a common pest of homes in southern Arizona. A study carried out by university entomologists found that F. pruinosus was the second most common ant pest of homes in Phoenix and the fourth most common ant pest of homes in Tucson. Workers of this species made up 18 percent of the ants collected by pest control professionals during service calls in Phoenix. Unlike virtually all insect pests, F. pruinosus did not have a common name until somewhat recently.
Back in 2013, entomologists allowed the public to submit potential common names for F. pruinosus through Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites. Only names that reflected the species’ appearance, habits, or overall nature were considered. Entomologists eventually settled on the “high noon ant” as the common name for F. pruinosus, as this heat-loving species is unique for foraging in the desert at noon when the sun is at its highest.
The high noon ant is active in both natural and disturbed environments, and infestations typically see foraging workers enter homes from outside nests, but they are capable of nesting indoors as well. Workers are aggressive and will readily bite humans, but they do not possess a stinger. Workers are relatively small, as they measure between 1.8 and 2.5 mm in body length and their color varies from light brown to dark brown. Workers naturally feed on honeydew, and they invade homes to seek out food sources, especially sweets, and sometimes meats.
Colonies contain multiple queens which are 5 to 6 mm in body length. Queens frequently leave nests in order to establish their own colonies elsewhere, but these ants also establish new colonies by swarming during the summer months. These ants nest in soil beneath wood piles and rocks, and they are often found nesting within tree stumps and logs. All nests that are associated with infestations must be located and treated in order to fully eliminate workers from homes and prevent reinfestations. Luckily, workers of this species follow fixed foraging trails, which allows humans to easily follow these ant pests back to their nesting sites.
Have you ever experienced an ant infestation that required pinpointing and destroying multiple nests?