The ants commonly referred to as “big-headed ants” belong to the Pheidole genus, which is made up of more than 1,000 documented species worldwide, several of which are well known pests of homes in the southern US. According to a recent nationwide survey of pest control professionals, big-headed ants were the seventh most frequently managed ant pests within and around US homes during 2016. Big-headed ant colonies are usually established in ground soil beneath objects like rocks, wood piles, and landscaping ornaments, but colonies are also commonly initiated within decayed wood, such as stumps, fallen branches, and sometimes, rotten structural lumber. Big-headed ant colonies contain two types of workers known as “major workers” and “minor workers,” and while both are comparable in body size, only major workers possess the noticeably large heads that earned this species its common name.
Major and minor workers are both reddish-brown in color and between 2.4 and 3.8 inches in length. Although major and minor workers both belong to the worker caste, major workers are commonly referred to as “soldiers” due to their habit of defending minor workers during foraging expeditions. Major workers use their disproportionately large head as a weapon against enemy ants and other hostile arthropods, and minor workers are often mistaken for red-imported fire ants due to their similar appearance and nesting behaviors. Unlike red-imported fire ants, big-head ant workers possess 12-segmented antennae with a 3-segmented club at the end.
Multiple big-headed ant species are known indoor pests in the US, including P. bicarinata, P. hyatti and P. megacephala, but P. dentata infests homes in the country most frequently, and they are particularly abundant in Houston and other urban and suburban areas along the Gulf Coast. Workers often invade homes in large numbers where they readily feed on a variety of food sources, such as meats, grease, liver, molasses, peanut butter, fruit juices and sweets. It is not uncommon for homeowners to find these ants infesting their kitchen cabinets and/or pantry. Big-headed ants rarely establish indoor nests, but they frequently establish multiple nests on properties in order to make repeated trips into homes to collect food sources. An insecticide application around the entirety of a home’s exterior foundation wall will prevent big-headed ants from foraging indoors, and baits are effective for eliminating colonies located within inaccessible areas. In order to eliminate nests found within indoor wall voids, minimal amounts of insecticide dust, granular baits, or liquid baits can be injected through tiny and inconspicuous holes drilled into walls.
Have you ever encountered ants with unusually large heads within your home?
Cypress Creek Pest Control has been providing quality and dependable service to Houston homes, agencies, schools, and local businesses since 1968. We are one of the largest independently owned full-service pest control companies in the state of Texas.
We’ve been customers for more than 20 years and have always been satisfied. Only had one issue, which they addressed and were appreciative of our feedback.
17:09 14 Sep 23
Ronnie was super helpful and thorough going through the house, which wasn't easy as we're repainting and everything was everywhere. I also really like the flexibility of not being locked into a quarterly plan and can schedule a date whenever I need to.
14:18 14 Sep 23
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13:50 14 Sep 23
Anthony did an excellent job. Very professional and polite
14:39 13 Sep 23
Very responsive and professional.
12:27 13 Sep 23
16:36 12 Sep 23
Steve took time to answer my questions and pay attention to areas of concern.
15:17 12 Sep 23
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04:09 11 Sep 23
17:37 10 Sep 23
Prompt efficient and cost effective. Used for over thirty years.
14:52 10 Sep 23
They did a very thorough job!
14:55 09 Sep 23
14:50 08 Sep 23
Always happy with the services provided.
14:37 08 Sep 23
Been using them for many years at 2 houses. They give great service, prompt, knowledgeable and affordable.
17:17 07 Sep 23
Very knowledgeable gentleman. Polite and caring
15:12 07 Sep 23
14:17 07 Sep 23
Danny was friendly and answered all of my questions and concerns. I recommened you guys continue sending him out to treat the issues we talked about.
20:06 04 Sep 23
The best pest control company I’ve ever used! Very responsive and not pushy.
18:02 03 Sep 23
21:44 01 Sep 23
Niki was amazing to deal with, all the staff has been great so far. Thank you Cypress Creek for having amazing customer service and pest service!
21:41 01 Sep 23
Kristy went above and beyond, her customer service is unmatched. Thanks to her I’ll be a forever customer with Cypress Creek pest!
17:32 01 Sep 23
They had to comeback a second time, however they were very quick to do so the next day. I’d use them again
14:14 01 Sep 23
18:14 31 Aug 23
Good knowledgable ….Love that they check in !!!!
14:03 31 Aug 23
17:38 29 Aug 23
Tech was out of the house in less than 5 minutes, hope he covered all areas in the house
16:43 29 Aug 23
13:15 29 Aug 23
Bob was professional, prompt & courteous as is the office staff. Bob listened to where my ant problem was and treated accordingly.
17:58 27 Aug 23
The technician was pleasant and seemed to care about me and my home. I would definitely recommend them to anyone.
16:56 26 Aug 23
Was having a major wasp issue, called and spoke with Lisa Bailey she sent Tate out to help me out. Complete life saver, I have recommended everyone I know to cypress creek pest
21:31 25 Aug 23
18:22 25 Aug 23
Been a customer for over 30 years and am always pleased with prompt, courteous service, and competitive pricing. Have recommended to my clients regularly.
15:57 25 Aug 23
21:24 24 Aug 23
Easy to schedule, good communication, professional technicians.
19:29 24 Aug 23
Cypress Creek Pest Control was recommended to me by a good friend who has used them for several years in the Houston area. I was pleasantly surprised that they come all the way out to Fulshear! Mr. Steve was very professional and kind while he explained the process of what he was going to do as it was my first visit. GREAT JOB!! I will recommend to others for sure! Very happy 😃
17:35 24 Aug 23
03:28 24 Aug 23
Nice courteous young man
21:30 23 Aug 23
We requested the services of Cypress Creek Pest Control for an infestation of German cockroaches we had in the kitchen. They did an excellent job finishing them off. In the three scheduled visits they made to us, they were always very professional, explaining in detail what they were going to do and the objective of each step. I highly recommend them.
20:46 23 Aug 23
19:11 23 Aug 23
00:45 23 Aug 23
CCPC massively slowed down the ANT invasion. But we did notice some stragglers 4 days after spray. Nothin like it was. Based on their process of waiting 7-10 days it has been an improvement. Hoping I don’t have to call them back to respray.
Pablo De La Torre
20:39 22 Aug 23
First time user, I have to say great service.
12:30 22 Aug 23
13:08 21 Aug 23
Awesome service! Had a huge wasp problem on our back lawn digging nest all over. They came out right away and took care of it. Wasps appear to be gone! Thank you!! Great price & very professional.