How To Get Rid Of Leaf Cutter Ants

The 5-Minute Solution

Terro Ant Killer is an effective, proven product. It is virtually guaranteed to not only completely eliminate your in-house ant problem, but to completely kill off the colony they are coming from.

It works as a bait. Ants are attracted to its sweet, food-like qualities. The number of ants in your problem area may at first increase, but in a few days they’ll completely disappear.

The boric acid in the solution works slowly in the ants’ digestive systems, allowing them to take the trap back to their queen.

Identification

Leaf Cutting Ant

Leaf cutter ants are known for being aggressive insects. The biggest telltale sign of a potential leaf cutter ant problem is the progressive and gradual loss of leaves in plants and trees around your house. Although mainly an agriculture and rural pest, these critters are starting to infiltrate homes more. They are more common in the south, especially in Texas where they are also known as “cut ants”.

It has been estimated that leaf cutter ants cost the U.S. $5 million and Central and South America $1 billion every year in damage from these ants! This ant is larger than most other ant pests, females becoming as large as two inches. They are of a rusty brown color and have a spindly body and long legs.

Traits & Characteristics

As mentioned, leaf cutter ants are primarily a problem for farmers and rural workers. However, they are also attracted to cereals stored inside of homes. They will never go beyond forming trails inside your home, however, as even the warmest pipe leak wouldn’t be enough room for their massive colonies. They can build underground mounds that span huge areas in the range of 40,000 cubic feet!

Further, despite their large individual sizes, mature colonies can number in the millions! This number helps explain how one of their colonies can span the surface area of a small home. Most of their work will be close to their mounds outside.

This species feeds mostly on the leaves of trees and other plants. Individual workers can bite off large chunks of leaves that are many times their body. The leaves are in turn thrown into a fungus garden from whence the ants feed. Their organization and incredible efficiency never fails to impress even the most casual observer. Due to their hardy and resilient natures, leaf cutter ants can be difficult to eliminate, but several methods are available.

How To Get Rid of Them

If you are unfortunate enough to have a trail of these monstrous ants coming into your home, take care of them immediately by blocking their point of entrance with a harsh chemical solution. Boric acid mixed with sugar is a common choice but harsher chemicals may be necessary. Next, locate the mound from whence your trail is coming. Once you locate it, pour liquid insecticide generously or boiling water. Due to the enormous nature of most leaf cutter ant mounds, even a whole bucket may not be enough, but if you’re lucky it will trickle down and reach the queen.

Baits are an effective means of sending poison down a colony and to the queen’s mouth. Choose slow-killing protein based bait for best results since you don’t want the delivering ant to die before delivery. If your efforts don’t yield satisfactory results, remember that you can always call a pest control professional to aid you in your efforts to rid your home of this pest.

For various other natural/green and pesticide-based ant pest solutions, check our How To Kill And Get Rid Of Ants: A Comprehensive Guide post.

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