White footed ants get their common name from their very light-colored feet. Mature colonies can range anywhere from 8,000 to 3 million individuals with as many as 33% of them being reproductive. They’re on average black to brown with pale yellowish-white feet as well as about 1/8” in size. Prefers to feed on honeydew and nectar at night, and will readily invade homes in search of sweet liquids and water.
Unlike most ants, foraging white footed ants do not share their food with other ants. Instead, many of the sterile workers in the colony lay eggs, called trophic eggs, which serve as a food source for the larvae and the non-foraging adults. While the foraging ants you can find them feeding on dead insects, plant secretions, proteins and sweets.
White footed ants infest both urban and rural habitats, as they spread to other areas through commerce. They prefer to nest near moisture and food sources that also provide protection from predators and harsh environmental conditions.
You can find these ants living outdoors under moist areas like loose bark or rocks, decaying trees, leaf piles and shaded damp areas. When in homes they can be found nesting in wall voids, attics, under roof shingles, around skylights, or even in kitchens and bathrooms.
They don’t cause damage but can become a nuisance left untreated. Nest location is ideal in the prevention of white footed ants. Once the nest has been located, remove possible harborage sites, such as rocks, wood, concrete objects, etc.
It is also important to seal any cracks or crevices on the exterior of the home to prevent easy access. These ants can be mostly an issue due to the large size of the colony and the pest persistence. This can make them difficult to control and eliminate, but with professional help the appropriate treatments can be accomplished to make this pest problem, no more.