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University of Nebraska–Lincoln

UNL Extension in Lancaster County

Insects, Spiders, Mice & More

Field Ants Identification

Resources to help you identify field ants found in Nebraska .

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Field Ant Photo - Showing Closeup of Face

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Field Ant Identification (One Node Ant)


Field Ant

Formica spp.

Field Ant

Description of Workers: Large ants, (3/8-inch) often confused with Carpenter ants. Wide variation in color: black, brown, tan, reddish, or red and black in color. Thorax is bumpy in appearance. Key distinguishing feature: The presence of 3 ocelli on head (ocelli are simple eyes on the front of the head between the ant's compound eyes - see photograph above).

Habits:

Field ants are common around structures, but are not often found inside. These ants are soil nesters and may construct mounds in open fields. In lawns, these nests have a low profile. rarely reaching above the top of the grass. They also nest under objects like rocks, landscape timbers and firewood piles. Displaced soil is often evident. Items such as stones, logs, and bricks should be overturned and inspected for colonies underneath.

Management:

Management includes treating colonies by drenching mounds thoroughly with a sufficient amount of a diluted, appropriately labeled insecticide using a sprayer to insure complete saturation throughout the colony which may be 8-12-inches or more in diameter. It may be necessary to lift objects on the ground to treat the colony underneath. The colony may also be controlled with granular bait products, although these products may not readily be available over-the counter.



The information on this Web site is valid for residents of southeastern Nebraska. It may or may not apply in your area. If you live outside southeastern Nebraska, visit your local Extension office

Credits:

  • Ant illustrations were developed by Vicki Jedlicka, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension in Lancaster County

For information on reproducing this resource or using any photographs or graphics, read the Terms of Use statement)

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