Field Ant

Actual Size: 4 to 8 mm

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

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: Prefers to nest outdoors in decayed logs or soil. Lawns, gardens, fields, and foundations of homes and buildings are also popular nesting sites.


  • Feeds exclusively on outdoor food resources.
  • Field ant mounds are sometimes mistaken for fire ant activity.
  • Rarely found indoors; nests are established on the exterior of homes and other buildings. 

Field Ants in Santa Fe and Albuquerque NM

Field ants prefer to nest out in the open and are common ants in the Santa Fe and Albuquerque areas. Building large mounds in lawns, playgrounds, and parks, field ants nest within close range to humans. With mounds reaching up to three or four feet wide and up to two feet tall, they can affect grass growth and landscapes. Although they do not typically nest in homes, most field ants cause issues for homeowners when they nest near masonry walls and concrete sidewalks, destroying the appearance of lawns and can make mowing difficult.

Field Ant Habitat

Field ants feed on live and dead insects, honeydew produced by aphids, and food commonly found in homes like sweets, liquids, and meats. Nests are composed of small twigs, grass stems, leaves, or pine needles. Shrubs, rocks, trees, sidewalks, fences, and foundations of structures are all popular locations for nesting sites. Field ants typically only enter homes to forage for food and rarely create nests inside homes and other buildings. 

Field Ant Behaviors, Threats or Dangers

If field ant 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 stings. Field ant bites do not have any long-term consequences, and after a short period of time, the painful sensation subsides. The large mounds that field ants build can ruin the look of lawns, making lawn mowing difficult, and interfere 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. 

Don’t wait until your home is overrun by ants. Contact the Ant Experts at New Mexico Pest Control today!