Miscellaneous Ants

Texas Leaf Cutter Ant

This ant is a common pest along the sandy banks of the Colorado river.  The leaf cutter ant is relatively easy to identify, mainly because of the leaf it is carrying that is many times it size.  Upon a closer examination another identification key is the two big spines protruding from the thorax.  This fascinating ant can mow down any plant substance in its path leaving behind a dirt path.

Control of the leaf cutter ant is rather difficult.  There are not any insecticides or baits labeled for its control.  A reason that there are not any baits available is because this ant eats a specific fungus that it grows.  The fungus the leaf cutter eats is grown upon all the leaves that are harvested and placed within the nest.  Part of the problem with using insecticides and pouring them into the leaf cutter entry points is that their nests can be up to 15 feet deep.  Pouring insecticides where they may travel that far allows the possibility of water contamination.

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