White Footed Ants  
Over the years I've gotten used to finding the occasional few ants that find their way in; a drop or two of my favorite ant bait used to resolve the problem. I always put some where I found the first ant, and then patiently waited for the ant to bring friends. Once they establish a trail to their meal it's fairly easy to follow them and figure out where they're coming in. Then I put bait on their trail outside, go nuts with a variety of cleaners to eliminate the portion of the trail that extends inside, and caulk whatever crevice they found through which to invade my abode. I've found that White Footed Ants require a little more work.
A Small White Footed Ant Trail
White Footed Ants, Technomyrmex difficilis Forel, feeding on liquid ant bait
I fed a few, and the trail grew, and grew, and grew. In desperation, I tried new baits. I was overlooking one very important thing, and I knew better.
White Footed Ants, Technomyrmex difficilis Forel, feeding on gel ant bait
Trees grow. In the hot Florida summer, particularly after a deep soaking rain saturates the ground, many trees extend their branches with stunning speed. Those branches are often ant highways.
Black Olive Tree, Bucida
White Footed Ants, Technomyrmex difficilis Forel, eating gel ant bait
Lots of little black ants, White Footed Ants, enjoying liquid ant bait
I generally use a slow acting borax bait, but I stormed the stores and bought one of every bait available. I didn't want to cut the branch and trap all of those bugs inside, but I didn't want even more ants to come in. I baited the trail, the branch, the tree, and every other tree, shrub and plant taller than the lawn.
For a couple of days I baited every morning and evening. See, the bait dries up, and these ants aren't as active during the heat of the day anyway. It worked. The trail slowed to a trickle and we cut the branch. I kept baiting and baiting, and trimming and trimming. I caught this ant alone on the wall outside trying to move in with a pupa. Perhaps all of the trimming knocked some nests out of the trees.
What I'd overlooked was a tree branch. Funny, it was a Black Olive Tree. Talk about extending the Olive Branch! We'd just recently trimmed the tree, but one branch grew fast and escaped my notice; the ant trail that poured off of the branch and stormed the soffit vent was at least four inches wide. I'd never seen such a thing! I was totally creeped out! I wanted those bugs gone RIGHT NOW!
White Footed Ants, Technomyrmex difficilis Forel, male and winged female
White Footed Ant that was carrying a pupa up a wall after I made it stand still; I'm pretty sure that it won't survive my method, but glad that it hung on for the picture
White Footed Ant carrying a pupa up a wall
With some ants, it's enough to bait the bugs you see. White Footed Ants are different; here's what I've learned. First, never, ever let a tree branch touch your house!
Second, it isn't enough to bait the problem trail - you have to bait the trees too. Third, this will not eliminate the ants, so you can't ever really stop. Wow, that rots, doesn't it! (Disclaimer - this is my hobby, I'm sharing my experiences; call a professional if you need advice, don't count on me.) Speaking of professionals, I submitted this last picture to BugGuide and they've confirmed that the little black ants are indeed White Footed Ants. Thanks Bug Guide! The University of Florida has great information about White Footed Ants too.
White Footed Ants, Technomyrmex difficilis Forel, workers and females
For a day or two I deeply desired to torch the trees, but my husband, local fire laws, and common sense restrained me.
The ants moved in from somewhere, and even if you kill every ant on your property, which probably can't be done, they'll just move back from whence they came before, so the objective is to keep them out of the house. I think that my ants swell in number when the Black Olive Trees bloom, so I'll have to remember to bait more while they flower and prepare for invasion when the flowers fall and they look elsewhere for food. For years I've taken a walk around the house every so often in search of trails to bait, but with these ants in the area I'll have to do so more often and check the plants too. The ants also moved into my White Crownbeard, which I'd planted much too close to the house, so my butterflies have one less nectar source now. A few other plants are also on my list to remove now that I've had this unbelievable ant invasion.
White Footed Ants on a Black Olive Tree
After all of that bait, the ants are still easy to find in the trees, but there aren't as many of them.
It quit raining a little while ago, so I went out for one more picture of these ants to show you how small they are. This little group took shelter in a dry spot under a branch and was briefly content to tolerate my finger beside them. They look very much like little black ants until you zoom in on the bottom half of their tiny legs and see their white stockings, or at least notice that it's difficult to see the more pale bottom half of their legs.
White Footed Ants on a Black Olive Tree
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