Bigheaded Ant


Actual Size: 1.5 to 4.5 mm

Characteristics: Can be dark brown, red, or light yellow in color. Have a distinctively large, heart-shaped head.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: The reproductive males and females have wings.

Habitat: Builds nests near water sources. Outdoors, nests are located beneath boards, stones, or at the base of shrubs. Indoors, will build nests in wall voids and insulation.


  • Known for building mud tubes that resemble those of subterranean termites.
  • Use their large and strong jaws to crack open seeds and other foods.
  • Can build large colonies with extended nests and multiple queens.

Bigheaded Ants in North Jersey

Bigheaded ants derive their name from the distinctively large heart-shaped heads of their worker ants. These unique-looking insects are considered one of the most troublesome invasive ant species worldwide, posing a significant challenge to control due to their year-round reproductive cycle. Bigheaded ants are also known for constructing expansive nests with multiple queens, making it even harder to get rid of an infestation once it’s taken root. They typically build their nests in sandy areas across lawns and landscapes, often displacing soil and carrying it up through cracks in driveways, patios, and exterior pavers of homes. It’s worth noting that many species of bigheaded ants prefer nesting near foundations, where they construct mud tubes that can be mistaken for signs of subterranean termite activity.

Bigheaded Ant Habitat

The majority of bigheaded ants are soil-dwelling species that sustain themselves by preying on small insects and indulging in the sweet honeydew found within the landscape. These ants tend to construct their nests in the soil near foundations, showcasing their remarkable speed in establishing large colonies with recognizable nests. They often choose disturbed environments such as driveways and lawns as their nesting sites. Additionally, bigheaded ants may find refuge in leaf litter, firewood, fences, and even walls. Infestations typically originate from the outdoors or beneath slab foundations, but it’s important to note that potted plants can also serve as common nesting sites, leading to the inadvertent transportation of ant colonies indoors.

Bigheaded Ant Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Bigheaded ants typically refrain from biting, and their bites are generally not painful or medically significant. That said, they can still be a source of frustration for home and business owners. These ants are known to create unsightly piles of dirt and sand, and they often venture into bathrooms, kitchens, doors, windows, walkways, and driveways. Infestations commonly occur near structures, the bases of ornamental plants, and sidewalks. In commercial buildings affected by bigheaded ant infestations, residents often report discovering numerous live and dead ants. Getting rid of bigheaded ants is also a major challenge, as the large colonies and multiple queens can simply split and reform when disturbed.

The best course of action when facing an infestation is to contact a professional ant pest control technician. An expert will be able to pinpoint the root cause of your infestation and create a customized treatment plan to get your property ant-free in no time.