Ant Identification and Extermination

Asked August 30, 2016, 9:38 AM EDT

Can you identify this ant? Found them in my yard. They are all over the place and very aggressive and fast moving. They are quick to defend any area. Some are using trails why others appear to be scouts looking for something. The ones on the trails are checking in with each other and very aggressive to any disturbance to the trail. Best method (poison) for getting rid of them?

Anne Arundel County Maryland

1 Response

Our staff entomologist is on leave so we do not have an absolute identification for your ant, but it looks like it could be a type of carpenter ant, in the genus Formica, which includes 86 species.
They do not eat wood, but will hollow rotted wood for use. They eat insects and are considered beneficial and belong in a healthy ecosystem outdoors.
We do not recommend control/extermination.

The habits you note are common among ants as they have very interesting and intricate colonies with very defined duties. Ants communicate and or groom/feed each other as they meet along a scent trail, letting others know where food sources are etc. Colonies can have satellite nests connected by trails to the parent nest.