Introducing Odontomachus, or Trap Jaw Ants

December 13, 2017By

 

Trap jaw ants are unlike any other ant you may have ever seen – which is a bad thing, but also makes it easy to identify this invasive species.

They originated from South America, and have been spreading across the Gulf Coast like wildfire in the recent past.

trap jaw ant

Identifying the Trap Jaw Ant

The scientific name for this insect is the odontomachus, and they are easy to spot for their huge and powerful-looking mandibles on their oversized, square heads.

Their bodies look similar to other flying ants, but the head and mandibles are hard to mistake. These ants can move incredibly quickly – as fast as 140 miles per hour! – and the mandible can lock back at 180 degrees.

There are tiny hairs inside the mandible that snap shut at the first sign of any touch, and they can exert a force greater to 300 times the ant’s weight with these tiny pinchers.

Are Trap Jaw Ants Dangerous?

Absolutely, these ants are dangerous for more than just their powerful mandibles. They are also stinging ants, which is bad news considering how fast they move. They could easily attack curious children or pets before there is time to get away. And trap jaw ants are usually found living underneath dead wood or piles of debris, so it’s quite easy to discover them in your yard.

With about 200 ants per colony, that is a lot of high-speed stinging and biting that could happen all at once.

Trap jaw ants are carnivorous, meaning they eat other insects, but they are also drawn to sweet things. So that means that they very well could be drawn to invade your home if food is scarce outside.

Are Trap Jaw Ants a Danger to Your Property?

Trap jaw ants are mostly found living in dead wood, moss, and turf. This means that you could find burrows in your grass, which could be damaging to your yard if a heavy infestation manages to manifest.

However, unless a tree is actively leaking sap, they don’t tend to burrow into live plants, nor do they build ant hills.

While the property damage itself is minimal, keep in mind that they will make it harder for your to maintain your property, because you’ll be in for some stings or bites when you go around to care for the area where they are living.

Fischer Ant Control

Ants are some of the most prolific pests that we deal with here at Fischer, which means that we have decades of expertise in removing them.

The best ant control is diligent maintenance, which means multiple treatments to remove the ants, and prevent the ants from returning. We focus on both the indoors and the outdoors, to ensure that you, your children, and your pets are safe.

Another thing we provide during this service is a thorough inspection of your property, and recommendations for how you might make some changes to prevent ants in the future. For example, we may suggest getting rid of some deadwood piled near your home to stop the ants from having easy access to your place again.

We offer ant control services all across the Gulf Coast area, where the Trap Jaw Ant is spreading. This includes Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, as well as those in southern Tennessee who are also seeing some of these ants making their way further into the country.

To schedule your free assessment and get an estimate on ant control services, contact Fischer at 800-391-2565. Also ask about our ongoing pest prevention program to take care of ants and more.

 

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