Trap-Jaw Ants in Eastern Tennessee
Trap-jaw ants are vigorous hunters with venomous stings and jaws strong enough to fling themselves through the air. Generally found in tropical areas, they are currently spreading throughout Eastern Tennesse and the Southern United States. These ants use their powerful mandibles to not only attack but to escape, by hurling themselves away from predators. When foraging for food, trap-jaw ants may wander into homes where they may become an issue due to their painful bite, venomous sting, and aggressive behavior when their nest is threatened.
Trap-Jaw Ant Habitat
Building small colonies with only one queen and less than 200 ants, trap-jaw ants eat small insects and sweet substances. Trap jaw ants nest in soil, leaf litter, and rotting logs. They are typically found under dead wood or beneath forest floors. In urban areas, their nests can usually be found in the mulch underneath hedges of landscaped areas near homes, commercial buildings, malls, and hotels.
Trap-Jaw Ant Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers
The obvious danger regarding trap-jaw ants is their bite. Researchers have found the ant’s jaws accelerate at 100,000 times the force of gravity. When snapping their jaw shut, trap-jaw ants reach speeds up to 145 mph, exerting forces 300 to 500 times the ant’s body weight! Additionally, these ants have a painful stinger, and if a nest is threatened, workers immediately assault their attacker, stinging and biting. The trap-jaw ant’s stinger is not barbed and can be used repeatedly. Although their venom isn’t fatal, it can produce allergic reactions. If you suspect a trap-jaw ant issue on your property, it is best to consult a licensed ant exterminator.
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