Argentine Ant


Actual Size: 2.2 to 2.8 mm

Characteristics: Light to very dark brown.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: The reproductive males and females have wings.

Habitat: Builds nests near water sources. Outdoors, nests are located beneath boards, stones, or at the base of shrubs. Indoors, will build nests in wall voids and insulation.


  • Attracted to wet environments near food sources.
  • Contaminate food and spread bacteria wherever they forage.
  • A single colony of Argentine ants can contain up to several hundred thousand workers.

Argentine Ants in Eastern Tennessee

Argentine ants are prolific breeders and notoriously difficult to control. They are considered major household and garden pests and when introduced to a new habitat, create enormous colonies displacing native ants. Workers from different colonies are not aggressive toward each other, allowing them to form a large supercolony, often linked by dense trails. Argentine ant nests are typically located in moist areas near a food source. They are ranked among the most stubborn home-infesting pests, contaminating and spreading bacteria wherever they forage.

Argentine Ant Habitats

Argentine ants will nest anywhere close to food—in the ground, between boards and timber, or in concrete wall cracks. In temperate weather, Argentine ants are usually found outdoors next to sidewalks, around plants, or underneath stones or boards. When the weather gets too dry or too wet in eastern Tennessee, these ants may find their way into your home. Once inside, they will forage for food, feeding on meat, eggs, oils, fats, and sweet items like fruit.

Argentine Ant Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Argentine ants are very aggressive, and although not poisonous, do bite people. An invasive species, Argentine ants are well organized socially and are particularly aggressive toward other insect populations due to their sheer numbers. Argentine ants are relentless and even attack paper wasp nests under the eaves of a house, forcing wasps to flee in a panic.  Argentine ants can cause damage to homes as they build supercolonies and invade homes in large numbers. If you suspect an Argentine ant infestation, it is recommended to contact a professional ant exterminator.