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Argentine ant

Argentine ant

Updated 9 August 2019 1:02pm

Argentine ant
Linepithema humile
Photo: Jack Kelly Clark, University of California

Why are Argentine ants a problem?

Argentine ants are aggressive and invasive. Because they can reproduce so quickly and have such a large appetite, they can have a major impact on the natural environment and be a household and garden pest. They:

  • Attack bees, other species of ants, and nesting birds and their young
  • Compete with native birds and invertebrates for insects, worms and nectar
  • Are very aggressive, and although they are not poisonous, they do bite people

More about Argentine ants

What can I do?

You can help stop the spread of Argentine ants by:

Controlling them on your property

  • Buy ant control products from hardware and garden stores
  • Contact a professional pest control operator

Stopping them moving to another property or area

  • Check potted plants for ants before moving
  • Check garden soil and bark, and building materials before moving
  • Check camping gear, especially when moving in and around reserves

More information

Landcare Research - Argentine ants in New Zealand

Bionet - information about pests and disease in New Zealand