The pyramid ant gets its common name from the pyramid projection on top of the thorax. Mature pyramid ant colonies are usually small to moderate in size, each containing one or more queens and up to a few thousand individuals.
In general, pyramid ants are highly carnivorous and predacious, readily feeding on live and dead insects. The foragers are particularly fond of honeydew and will herd honeydew-producing insects such as aphids (plantlice).
Pyramid ants usually nest in dry, open and sunny areas, such as lawns, pastures and sandy/bare areas. They can also be found under objects on the soil. Pyramid ant nests usually have a single entrance hole and are often built near the nests of other ant species like harvester ants. Pyramid ants are not known to nest indoors, but they will occasionally forage for sweet foods in homes.
Pyramid ants do not have a stinger, but workers will occasionally bite if there are perceived threats to the colony.
- Color: Head and thorax are brown to reddish black; abdomen is usually darker
- Legs: 6
- Shape: Segmented; thorax with pyramid-like elevation of top surface towards rear
- Size: 1/16-1/8” (1.5-3 mm)
- Antennae: Yes
- Region: Found throughout the United States, but are most common in the southern states
To prevent pyramid ants from foraging inside, seal all possible points of entry around the house including small openings and cracks around doors and windows. If you suspect a pyramid ant infestation, contact a pest professional to inspect the foundation wall and lawn for crater-shaped mounds or bare soil in sunny areas.