Field Ant


Actual Size: 4 to 8 mm

Characteristics: Large; black, brown, or yellowish to bicolored red and black 

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: Favors outdoor nests in decayed logs or soil. Nests located in lawns, gardens, fields, and foundations of homes and buildings


  • Feeds exclusively on outdoor food resources.
  • Sometimes referred to as thatching or mound ants.
  • Rarely found indoors, but common around homes and other buildings. 

Field Ants in Albuquerque NM

Field ants get their name for their preference of nesting out in the open. Nests can be found in lawns, gardens, fields, and parks. Field ants build large mounds in open areas, with sizes reaching up to three or four feet wide and up to two feet tall. These ants rarely make their way indoors, however, they are common on the exterior of homes and buildings. Most field ants cause issues for homeowners when they nest near masonry walls and concrete sidewalks, destroying the appearance of lawns.

Field Ant Habitat

Sometimes referred to as “thatching” or “mound” ants, field ants nest in soil or decayed logs. Nests are composed of small twigs, grass stems, leaves, or pine needles. Preferred nesting sites include locations near shrubs, rocks, trees, sidewalks, fences, and foundations of structures. Unlike most ant pests, these ants do not venture indoors for food. They feed exclusively on outdoor food resources, such as live and dead insects and the honeydew produced by aphids. 

Field Ant Behaviors, Threats or Dangers

Field ants do not sting but will bite if disturbed. If nests are disturbed or stood upon, ants will swarm out of the nest, attacking and biting the intruder. Their bite is usually painful, with some species spraying formic acid into the wound, which can sting. While initially painful, the sensation subsides, and fortunately, field ant bites do not have any long-term consequences. The large mounds that field ants build can ruin the look of lawns, making lawn mowing difficult, and interfering with the growth of garden plants and woody ornamentals. If a field ant infestation is suspected, it is best to consult a professional ant exterminator.