Big-headed or coastal brown ants are known for their huge heads and are highly invasive that can displace other insects in their territory.
Are Big-Headed Ants Dangerous? Big-headed ants are dangerous, but only when someone interferes in their activities while foraging for food and getting a nuptial flight. Moreover, they can become aggressive when larger insects or humans try to attack their nests. They are dangerous for plants and responsible for wilting, ruining stored food, and damaging buildings by chewing the electrical wiring. Furthermore, they can kill native ant species using mandibles and form dirt piles inside homes.
Big-headed ant colonies are large that occupies a vast area of the yard and even enter inside homes.
A combination of methods is required to prevent them from exploding and turning into larger colonies because it is difficult to control the supercolonies.
Why are big-headed ants dangerous?
They are dangerous to other insects due to their territorial and aggressive behavior, making them a threat to other species of insects, plants, and buildings.
Attack on native ants
The coastal brown or big-headed ants are mainly found in Australia and are known to kill 35 to 40 native species of these insects. They are a threat to rainforests and disturb the ecological balance.
They are responsible for reducing the population of native ants by attacking them to obtain nutrition. In addition, it has reduced the number of other insects like spiders, snails, and centipedes.
Moreover, it results in competition for survival with other native species consuming the same food source. Ant diversity is badly affected as they are predating them on a massive scale.
It is responsible for disturbing the ecology because native species of ants play a role in adding nutrients to the soil, and their absence reduces soil fertility for plants.
Furthermore, they provide aeration by creating spaces or holes to allow air deep into the soil.
Pollination of flowers and seed dispersal are also essential roles performed by the native species in addition to the pest-controlling efficiencies.
Wilting of plants
The plants start wilting in the presence of big-headed ants because they are usually present in the soil close to the trees and potted plants.
They build nests close to the plant roots to target the invertebrates living in the soil. It destroys the root system because the soil gets dry, leading to plant wilting and death.
Furthermore, they form entrance spots of their nests close to the base of trees and dig deep in the ground. They like to live in the deep soil and allow air to reach the roots causing them to dry out.
Larger trees, shrubs, and even potted plants are at risk of wilting due to their attack; that’s why they are considered dangerous for the plants.
Ruin stored food packages
The stored food packages are a good nutrition source, providing plenty of food to the tiny creatures.
They usually target the kitchen countertops and cabinets having food leftovers and stored boxes.
Moreover, you can see them crawling in pantries because there is no other place that can be a better source of food than a pantry having the bulk of stored food items.
They can quickly enter into thin plastic packages using their strong mandibles and ruin the whole package by attacking the food.
Furthermore, the whole food container becomes a waste material when there is a heavy infestation of ants on it.
Create dirt piles
They are responsible for creating dirt or sand piles in the areas where they have built nests. They are considered nuisance pests by homeowners as they make their grounds dirty.
In addition, these piles have been observed in the kitchen, sidewalk areas, and plant bases. They forage for food and enter bathrooms and are found close to windows and doors.
Therefore, homeowners feel frustrated by these dirty insects forming mounds in their houses and try to get rid of these dangerous pests.
The big-headed ants are known as structural pests due to their destructive behavior, as they can cause structural damage to a building.
Moreover, they can invade houses by getting entry into yards and plants. Finally, they can target the electrical wiring of the homes by chewing them with their strong teeth.
It can also damage the grouting present between the tiles to keep them attached and the material used to fill the space between pavers.
The buildings and pavements made of bricks can provide a better nesting spot for these insects, and a small crack in the building is enough to give an entry point to reach inside a house.
Furthermore, they can reach the beds and washing machines when there is a heavy infestation of these insects inside a house.
Additionally, they are structural pests commonly in the regions providing warmer climates like Hawaii and Florida.
Are big-headed ants a threat to humans?
BHA are aggressive and behave in a threatening and combative manner towards other ant species.
They do not allow other insects to enter their territory to avoid the risk of food shortage and attack. Their territorial nature makes them aggressive toward others interfering in their nests.
Moreover, humans are not at risk of attack, but these insects can bite on the skin when someone disrupts their mound.
They threaten the soil insects, spiders, and snails because their bodies provide nutrition and reduce the chances of becoming prey.
Furthermore, they can pose a survival risk for native ants when they build a nest in a specific area and raise their population at a fast rate as they need nutrition and territorial expansion.
It is better to avoid interference with their mounds whenever you see piles of dirt or sand on the ground and walkways to protect yourself from their bite.
Are big-headed ants poisonous?
Bigheaded ants are known for their destructive behavior that can damage all the plants and cause structural damage to buildings.
They can become dangerous sometimes when you try to interfere in their nest, but they are not poisonous as they do not sting badly on the skin.
Moreover, they are not poisonous because they lack the stinger used to inject toxic chemicals into the skin. As a result, they cannot release poison to form wounds in humans.
However, they are only dangerous due to their destructive behavior causing damage to homes, plants, and native species of ants.
It is essential to cut the leaves dropping down on the ground and contact pest management professionals to get rid of these nuisance pests.