Field ants construct mounds made up of plant materials, such as grass, twigs, leaves and pine needles. They often nest around small trees, shrubs or rocks. Other species build their nests in the cracks of sidewalks, along foundation walls and at the base of trees. Field ants rarely nest in homes but occasionally enter in search of sweets.
Large ants are 3/8-inch and often are confused with Carpenter ants. There is a wide variation in color: black, brown, tan, reddish, or red and black in color. Thorax is bumpy in appearance. Key distinguishing feature is the presence of 3 celli on the head which are simple eyes on the front of the head between the ant's compound eyes.
Field ant colonies can survive for 10 or more years. Each colony contains a queen ant that lays all of the eggs that develop into sterile females (workers) and males (drones). Field ants DO NOT come indoors for food. They exclusively collect food outdoors and feed on live and dead insects, as well as on aphid honeydew.
Field ants are common around structures, but are not often found inside. These ants are soil nesters and may construct mounds in open fields. In lawns, these nests have a low profile. rarely reaching above the top of the grass. They also nest under objects like rocks, landscape timbers and firewood piles. Displaced soil is often evident. Stones, logs, and bricks should be overturned and inspected for colonies underneath.