Western Harvester Ant (Pogonomyrmex occidentalis)
Detailing the identifying qualities of the Western Harvester Ant, including physical features and territorial reach.
Updated: 2/8/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Western Harvester Ant colonies are commonly found in bare patches of ground and should be walked around, not through.
Western Harvester Ants are large ants compared to common urban species. They can form colonies of up of 3,000 workers that are often active and visible around the opening of the underground nest. Females have wings and will swarm during the summer season. They eat plant seeds and other insects.
Plants around or near the colony are removed (by them) to allow full sun, which can subsequently remove habitat from other encroaching insects. Nests are covered with gravel or loose soil. Activity tends to slow down during the hottest hours of the day (noon to 4pm). They are aggressive defenders of their home, so anything or anyone disturbing or damaging entrances will be subjected to biting and stinging. Their jaws are large and strong, so bites are painful and will leave a mark. Removal of colonies can be done by professional exterminators.