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Pest Ants of Louisiana [Louisiana Ants] [Louisiana Exotic Ants]
Joe MacGown

The following list of pest species includes 57 species. This list includes species that are considered to be serious pests, in that they may cause significant damage, health problems, kill small animals, or disrupt ecosystems, to mild, nuisance pests. The most serious pests are prefaced with a (*) symbol. Some of the species listed are seldom encountered, but when they are, they may give painful stings. This is the case with the army ants listed (Neivamyrmex spp.). Although we infrequently find them, they are aggressive and may inflict a painful sting. Not all ants that sting are listed as pests, because many of these are non-aggressive, however, keep in mind that if an ant has a stinger, it can sting. Likewise, many species can bite if provoked, but not all of these are listed. Additionally, there may be occasional species that bother mankind in various ways that are not listed. The pest status of some of the listed species, such as Cardiocondyla spp., is questionable, and their negative effects may be more that they compete with native species. Many of the species from this list were included by Smith (1965) as pest species in his publication entitled "House-Infesting Ants of the Eastern United States" and more recently by Dash et al. (2005) in the "Pest Ants of Louisiana."

Clicking on a species name will lead to a page with further information and photographs of that species. Although species pages are at various levels of progress, most pages now have representative photographs of at least workers of the species. In addition to the photographs of ants taken by Joe MacGown at the Mississippi Entomological Museum (MEM), many photos are used, with permission, from AntWeb, a web site about ants of the world with amazing photos. Another site with photographs of ants is "Discover Life." The Discover Life site provides a list of North American ants with photos at "Kinds of Ants , Ants of North America Page". On each individual MEM species page, a link is provided (at the bottom of the page) for that species on both the AntWeb site and the Discover Life ant site. Additionally, many of the species found in this list can be identified using the identification keys found on this web site.

Pest Ants of Louisiana (arranged alphabetically)
Aphaenogaster fulva Roger (occasional structural pest, especially in rotting wood)
Aphaenogaster lamellidens Mayr (may nest in rotting wood of structures)
Atta texana (Buckley) (serious pest of pine regeneration in the upland areas of west central LA and east TX, bites)
*Brachymyrmex patagonicus Mayr (introduced, nuisance pest)
Camponotus americanus Mayr (occasional househeld & nuisance pest)
Camponotus caryae (Fitch) (occasional structural pest)
Camponotus castaneus (Latreille) (occasional househeld & nuisance pest)
Camponotus chromaiodes Bolton (occasional structural pest in lumber)
Camponotus decipiens Emery (occasional structural pest)
*Camponotus floridanus (Buckley) (structural pest)
Camponotus nearcticus Emery (occasional structural pest)
*Camponotus pennsylvanicus (DeGeer) (serious structural pest)
Camponotus sansabeanus (Buckley) (occasional structural pest)
Camponotus socius Roger (occasional househeld & nuisance pest)
Crematogaster ashmeadi Mayr (occasional household & structural pest)
Crematogaster pilosa Emery (occasional household & structural pest)
Dorymyrmex bureni (Trager) (nuisance pest, numerous mounds in yard)
Dorymyrmex smithi Cole(nuisance pest, numerous mounds in yard)
Labidus coecus (Latreille) (occasional stinging pest, may kill chickens & small pets)
Lasius americanus Emery (nuisance pest)
*Linepithema humile (Mayr) (introduced, nuisance pest, extremely high numbers)
*Monomorium minimum (Buckley) (nuisance pest, occasionally nest in structures)
*Monomorium pharaonis (Linnaeus) (introduced, nuisance pest)
Neivamyrmex carolinensis (Emery) (occasional stinging pest)
Neivamyrmex fallax Borgmeier (occasional stinging pest)
Neivamyrmex melshaemeri (Haldeman) (occasional stinging pest)
Neivamyrmex moseri Watkins (occasional stinging pest)
Neivamyrmex nigrescens (Cresson) (occasional nuisance & stinging pest)
Neivamyrmex opacithorax (Emery) (occasional stinging pest)
Neivamyrmex pauxillus (Wheeler) (occasional stinging pest?)
Neivamyrmex pilosus (F. Smith) (occasional stinging pest)
Neivamyrmex swainsonii (Shuckard) (occasional stinging pest)
*Nylanderia fulva (Mayr) (introduced, pest)
Nylanderia terricola (Buckley) (nuisance pest)
*Nylanderia vividula (Nylander) (introduced?, nuisance pest)
Pachycondyla harpax (Fabricius) (introduced, occasional stinging pest?)
*Paratrechina longicornis (Latreille) (introduced, nuisance pest)
Pheidole dentata Mayr (occasional household & stinging pest?)
Pheidole metallescens Emery (occasional household & stinging pest)
Pheidole navigans Forel (introduced, occasional household & stinging pest)
Pogonomyrmex badius (Latreille) (stinging pest, large mounds)
Pseudomyrmex ejectus (Smith) (occasional stinging pest)
Pseudomyrmex gracilis (Fabricius) (introduced, occasional stinging pest)
Pseudomyrmex pallidus (Smith) (occasional stinging pest)
Pseudoponera stigma Fabricius (introduced, occasional stinging pest?)
Prenolepis imparis (Say) (household pest, attracted to sweets)
*Solenopsis invicta Buren (introduced, serious nuisance & stinging pest)
*Solenopsis molesta (Say) (household nuisance, structural, & occasional stinging pest)
*Solenopsis xyloni McCook (serious nuisance & stinging pest)
*Tapinoma melanocephalum (Fabricius) (introduced, househeld pest)
*Tapinoma sessile (Say) (nuisance pest)
*Technomyrmex difficilis Forel (introduced, pest-previously misidentified as T. albipes (Smith), see Wetterer, 2008)
Tetramorium bicarinatum (Nylander) (introduced, occasional structural & nuisance pest)
Tetramorium lanuginosum Mayr (introduced, occasional stinging pest?)

Literature Cited

Dash, S. T., L. M. Hooper-Bui, and M. A. Seymour. 2005. The Pest Ants of Louisiana: A Guide to Their Identification, Biology, and Control. Louisiana State University Agricultural Center Communications 24 pp.

Smith, M. R. 1965. House-infesting ants of the Eastern United States, their recognition, biology, and economic importance. United States Department of Agriculture, Technical Bullitin No. 1326: i-105.

Wetterer, J. K. 2008. Technomyrmex difficilis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae (in the West Indies). Florida Entomologist 91: 428-430.