From Austin to Dallas and east to Louisiana, leaf cutter ants can be found in Texas. These ants originate from Mexico and South and Central America but have been found in Southern California, Arizona, Texas, and Louisiana.

Leaf cutter ants have many of the same characteristics other ants do. They have 6-legs, a head, thorax, and abdomen. Though, the leaf cutters have a spiny 3 segmented thorax. This allows them carry 50x their weight and their legs are much longer than those of other ants. The exoskeleton on a leaf cutter ant is a biomineral body armor.

First of its kind, this armor is made up of magnesium-rich calcite crystals. Not found on other insects, this armor aids leaf cutter ants to protect themselves from other ant species during an attack. It also protects them from fungal disease, which is a good thing since that’s what they use the leaves for.

Leaf cutter ants receive their name from their job description. They cut leaves. They break these leaves down into small pieces to cultivate fungal gardens within their nest. The leaves act as a fertilizer to grow fungus that feeds them and their larvae.

These ants have been known to destroy gardens and flowerbeds overnight with the mass amount of foraging they do.

Leaf cutter colonies can have multiple queens in different areas of the nest. Each queen will usually have hundreds of female workers. If the colony is large enough, it could have hundreds of thousands of ants.

Leaf cutter ants still do the nuptial mating flight like other ants. Once a queen has mated, she sheds her wings, grabs some fungus and creates a nest to lay her eggs and begin a fungus garden within the soil. Sometimes, multiple fertilized queens will gather after mating and start a large colony together.

Whether you are experiencing leaf cutter ants, other type of ants, or insects in general, contact Safe Earth Pest Control. We have plans to fit all your pest control needs. 214-321-2847