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Harvester Ant Facts

  • Species: There are 22 harvester ant species found in the U.S.
  • Location: The most common types of harvester ants live west of the Mississippi, except the Florida harvester ant, which can be found in the Mid-Atlantic states as well as in Florida. Western species include California harvester ants, Western harvester ants, red harvester ants and black harvester ants.

How to Identify Harvester Ants

While harvester ants do not usually infest homes, they build their nests near homes, where they destroy grass and other vegetation surrounding their nests. 

Entrances to the harvester ant’s elaborate nests are marked by moderate to large mounds of dirt, with the area surrounding the mound stripped of all vegetation to prevent shading and bits of burnt pine needles placed around the entrance.

Harvester Ant Social Behavior

Typically, harvester ants stay below ground during the hottest parts of the day and need all the solar power they can muster to stay warm underground.

Besides trashing lawns, golf courses and playgrounds with their unsightly mounds, harvester ants pose a threat to humans and pets, as they will sting, if provoked, and their venom is one of the most powerful insect venoms known to science.

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