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How to Manage Pests

Key to Identifying Common Household Ants

Winged ants, workers, and larvae


Colony propagation

Southern fire ant colonies produce winged swarmers in the spring. Mated flights occur in the spring and may continue through September to establish new colonies. Colonies may also begin by budding where a group of workers leave an existing colony with larvae and pupae to begin a new colony. Occasionally queens will also go. Nest locations change during the seasons of the year as colonies relocate to be near water. Colonies have multiple queens and may join with others to form supercolonies or split to form 2 or more colonies. The peak time for activity is from April through December. There is not much activity from January through March.

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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