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  • Western Harvester Ant - (Pogonomyrmex occidentalis)

    Western Harvester Ant - (Pogonomyrmex occidentalis)

    Western Harvester Ant colonies are commonly found in bare patches of ground and should be walked around, not through.

    Staff Writer (2/8/2017): 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.

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    Details of the:
    Western Harvester Ant

    Category: Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
    Common name: Western Harvester Ant
    Scientific Name: Pogonomyrmex occidentalis

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Hymenoptera
          Family: Formicidae
           Genus: Pogonomyrmex
            Species: occidentalis

    Size (Adult, Length): 5mm to 9mm (0.20in to 0.35in)

    Identifying Colors: red, brown

    Additional Descriptors: large, fast, biting, stinging, painful, group, colony

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alaska; Arizona; California; Colorado; Idaho; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; North Dakota; Oklahoma; Oregon; South Dakota; Texas; Utah; Washington; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; ; Saskatchewan; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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