A new ant. Miniscule. Never Saw it before. Anyone have it?

Bob_B(Sunset 14, Ca.)July 24, 2012

This ant is half the size of an argentine. Miniscule. Moves slowly. Found them for the first time this summer. Once under a shrub, next on my sunflowers --8 feet high!

I've never seen these in a lifetime of California gardening. Anyone have them or know what they are?

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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

When I was a kid we had little teeny tiny red and black ants in our new tract development in the foothills. We also had the large red ants that gather seeds and create big mounds, and the Carpenter ants. Now the only ants left are the midsized black Argentine ants.

I think you have a native ant colony, Bob. Congratulations. I tried to get a name for you, but there are 475 native California ant species(!). You have a sharp eye. Did you notice if it was black and red or just red?
Renee

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 5:32PM
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Bob_B(Sunset 14, Ca.)

I too wondered if they were a native ant. They're about 2 mm long, black, very shiny, thorax segmented into about four segments each decreasing in size moving toward the abdomen. They move very slowly. I found some ( a dozen or so) in some duff under a shrub, and, as I mentioned, the others on a sunflower. They are able to make their way up the hirsute stems of the sunflower plant. They are so small they can walk around the stiff hairs. I did a brief search with no luck. May try again, now that I have gone outside and looked at them more closely with a lens and ruler.

Interestingly, after many years of fighting argentines, with baits, spray etc. I have virtually eliminated them from my yard. Underscore virtually. I still find a few here or there but no big colonies. When I find one I destroy it. I have been spraying "Home Defense" around the foundation of my house once or twice a year, and I think ths has helped.

Bob

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 10:08PM
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vall3fam(9 CentralCA)

See if this description of a pavement ant is your ant. Described as slow moving, it might be it.

Here is a link that might be useful: UCDavis Pest

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 1:07AM
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Bob_B(Sunset 14, Ca.)

vall3fam,
Good sleuthing! I think it is the pavement ant. Probably this new pest has appeared in the absence of the argentines. How did you ID it?
Bob

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 11:09AM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Bummer. Oh well.
I'm impressed at your eradication of the Argentine ants. I have flagstones and bricks everywhere, so I doubt I will ever win the war.
Renee

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 4:30PM
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vall3fam(9 CentralCA)

Bob,
Just got lucky on the Google search. Looked for "california ants", went to the UC Davis site and just read description of some of the ants shown.

That one sounded kind of like what you described, plus I've seen these too, so figured it might be the one!

Elaine

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 1:53AM
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CA Kate

We have incredibly tiny ants in our new house. Vall3fam, your link showed that we have Thief Ants which are described as being 1/32" in size, which sounds about right to me.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 2:28PM
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vall3fam(9 CentralCA)

Westelle, I've had those teeny ants before. A real pain in the patootie, get into everything. A little Raid took care of them and I haven't seen again.

Elaine

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 12:59AM
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CA Kate

I'd break down and spray IF I could figure out where they're coming from, but they are too tiny to really see their trail/path and follow it.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 11:53PM
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CA Kate

I'd break down and spray IF I could figure out where they're coming from, but they are too tiny to really see their trail/path and follow it.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 11:54PM
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