How to Get Rid of Pyramid Ants​

Pyramid ants are one of the most interesting species in the animal kingdom. They build complex structures, called “pyramids,” to house their brood and queens. The size of these pyramids varies based on resources and can grow to be as large as 10 feet tall! These amazing insects have fascinated entomologists for decades, with many questions still unanswered about how they construct their homes without any other materials than just themselves. This post will discuss everything you need to know about pyramid ants, including their lifecycle, diet, behavior, habitat requirements, and more!

What are Pyramid Ants?

Pyramid ants are a member of the Hymenoptera order, including bees, wasps, and hornets. Ants from this family make up half of all insect species on earth. The queen can lay eggs one at a time or in batches but usually produces only one egg every three days during adulthood because it requires seven days for the egg to develop inside its body. When the eggs are ready to hatch, they do so within 30 minutes of emerging from their mother’s body. The queen also feeds her young using milk that takes three days to produce after giving birth. The larvae pupate in a cocoon-like structure which is usually attached under leaves or bark. There are over 12,000 species of ants that have been identified

The pyramid ant gets its name from the two large teeth that jut out past their mandibles. This gives them a distinctively triangular appearance which is very noticeable when they open and close their mouths. They also sport elbowed antennas with grooves or notches along the surface. The ocelli between the compound eyes contain a blue-reflective layer that acts as a mirror to reflect light at certain wavelengths. 

On frontview, these reflections may brighten and darken depending on how much light is being received by the ocelli. This capability allows ants to essentially see in different colors and may play a role in finding suitable food for the colony.

What do Pyramid Ants Look Like?

Pyramid ants are a species of red harvester ant that live in the Southwest United States. Males and females can be distinguished from each other by observing how wide their heads are. A large head width for a male is about 1.8 times as wide as the female’s head width 1. 

They have a rectangular-shaped median antenna with a rounded tip. The mandible is equipped with two pairs of teeth – one set on an outer edge, and another set on an inner edge, separated from the outer set by a deep notch.

The edges of this ant’s mandibles have many teeth, which allow them to function as effective generalist predators of other insects and arachnids. The shape of the teeth is distinctively different between males and females, with males having sharper, more pointed teeth that are better adapted to general predation. In contrast, females have wider, flattened teeth that are better adapted for cutting vegetation.

Male and female ants also possess different shaped tarsal claws, which is an adaptation thought to make it easier for males to climb onto the females during mating 2. Males also have a preen gland located on the abdomen that secretes a waxy substance used during mating to help hold onto the female.  

The pyramid’s back color ranges from yellowish-red to brown, depending on the colony and the ecological conditions in which they live.

Males of this species typically have a stronger yellowish-red tint on their heads than that found on females, who tend to be more of a brown color. Some colonies also exhibit polymorphism in the color of ants living in different areas of the colony.

The queens of this species have a body length that can range from 14–19 mm. They have an oblong-elongated head which is approximately 2.9 times as long as wide. They also have a scape (part of the antenna) that is about twice as long as its flagellar segment one (segment one is the first part of an antenna before it branches out into other segments). The head has a very narrow neck that widens at the posterior end. 

This ant’s thorax (middle section) is 2.5 times as wide as long and is widest at the pronotum (the plate behind the head). Their petiole (a node-like structure formed from one or two waist segments) is typically either hairless or has a few weak hairs on its dorsal surface, which are usually shorter than their width. In addition, the gaster (third section of the ant abdomen after the thorax) is usually hairless.

Why are They Called Pyramid Ants?

Pyramid ants are called such because they make their colonies in triangular shapes. They are also called the ‘Egyptian army ant’ because they form a tightly packed triangle once they reach their goal.

Pyramid Ants are called pyramid ants because they make nests in a pyramid-like pattern. These ants live in colonies that can include up to 700 nests. They make their nests by digging tunnels and chambers, which they arrange neatly one after the other. They get their name because the nests are shaped like a triangle with an anthill on top. These anthills stick out of the middle of the nest. The pyramid ant is known for its ferocity when defending its nests, making it very hard for other insects to move into their territory. As a result, they are one of the most popular ants in the United States.

Mounds or hills that these insects construct resemble small mountains and serve as protection for the queen who lays eggs at the base of this structure. There is a tunnel that connects the chambers and in the center of these chambers rests the queen. The mounds provide insulation, and the chambers provide warmth for the eggs.

These mounds may reach up to two feet tall with a base diameter of two feet. The hard coating covering these mounds is hair and dry mud, creating a barrier from rain and excessive sunlight. These insects often share their nest with certain species of ants.

How to Get Rid of Pyramid Ants

Pyramid ants might have invaded your home at some point. Things can get really messy when they do. One way to get rid of these ants is to find their nest and destroy it. You can find them by looking for where the ants are congregating. Their nests are usually found in the ground or under a porch slab. It’s also possible that you’ll eventually see them climbing up on a wall. If you see a line of ants, follow it, and you’ll find out where they’re coming from.

If possible, try to locate the nest during the day. If not, look for them at night when their activity is increased. Use a flashlight or headlamp to make your job easier. Try to identify their entrance holes as well. You can also step on their lines to make them scatter, then follow them back to their nest.

Luckily for you, there are many different ways how to kill pyramid ants. Some of them are natural and won’t harm your family or your pets. In addition, these are safe solutions if you have children or other people who might be affected by chemicals.

Natural ways to kill pyramid ants:

• Insecticidal soaps – These are the safest alternative if you have kids and pets in your home. Insecticidal soap leaves a residue that keeps killing insects for up to two weeks. It’s cheap and easy to use, and it’s more effective than dish soap. It will give you a few days of peace, but it isn’t lethal, so the ant colony will continue to grow. You need to spray insecticidal soap on their nest during the day when they’re home.

1. Borax powder mixed with sugar – this is another safe alternative if you have children and pets who can be affected by chemicals. Put the borax powder in places where the ants are usually seen. They’ll take it back to their colony and kill the queen ant. You should keep doing this until you see no more ants inside your home.

2. Salt – an alternative that works just like borax. Put salt on their paths by mixing it with sugar or honey. The ants will take the salt back to their nests, killing their queen in the process.

3. Homemade sprays – you can make your sprays by mixing dish soap or insecticidal soap with water, then spraying it on their paths. The spray is effective, but it doesn’t last for a long time. So keep doing this until you see no more ants. You can also try garlic or pepper sprays, which will irritate the ants and scare them away.

4. Pouring boiling water down their nest – This is one of the most efficient ways to kill any ant infestation, including pyramid ants. If you pour boiling water down their nests during the day, they won’t be able to escape it. Of course, you can also pour gasoline, bleach, or alcohol, but the fumes are dangerous if you don’t use them properly.

• Chemical solutions:

1. Ant gel – This is one of the safest ways to kill ants in your home because it’s poison-free. You can choose between two types: ant bait or ant dust. Ant bait is slow-acting, so the ants will take it back to their colony. On the other hand, ant dust will kill them right away. Both are equally effective.

2. Ant spray – This is the fastest way to kill ants inside your home. You can find sprays that are made of natural ingredients, like peppermint oil or citronella, but most of them contain chemicals. Of course, they will kill the ants immediately, and you won’t see them again. However, these sprays don’t last long. You’ll need to repeat the applications periodically until the colony is gone.

If none of these methods have worked for you so far, you’ll need to call in a professional exterminator. They use special chemicals that are lethal for ants, so you won’t see them again. 

Killing an ant colony is not an easy task. You’ll have to try many different methods before the queen dies and the colony disappears completely. We suggest using homemade sprays because they’re non-toxic and just as efficient as other solutions. Also, don’t forget to remove the infested foods to prevent ant nests from returning. 

Let the pest control professionals handle any concerns that you might have. Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call pest control in Boise at the first sign.

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