I have these ants in my kitchen in West Texas (Alpine). They appear
in the evening, have the run of the pantry, garbage, and countertops
and seem to disappear during the day. There used to be just a few but
now they are everywhere. They never get into food I can see - they
just do what the ant in the picture is doing, seemingly eating
What are they, and how do I get rid of them?
I appreciate your help.
Great picture, and great question! I think they look like Camponotus fragilis, a common species in the Southwestern US. As for some hints at how to get rid of them, we've outlined a general approach in a previous blog post (click here). If you decide to poison the ants, you might consider trying to do a quick "cafeteria" test to see what kind of bait you should mix with. Simply line up a few drops (liquid foods are preferable because you can mix them evenly with the poison) of different kinds of food on some wax paper, and see what the ants go for. I often try peanut butter, fake maple syrup, and pureed tuna fish (but perhaps see if they go for the peanut butter or maple syrup first, because pureed tuna fish can get kind of messy!).
But don't forget to try to figure out how they're getting in, and block off the entrance. If more ants keep getting inside, you won't be able to solve the problem with poisoned bait.
I hope this helps!
Jesse Czekanski-Moir & the AntAsk Team