RIFA ants are small and reddish-brown on the head and body with a dark abdomen.
They are polymorphic, i.e., different sizes within a colony. RIFA sizes range between2mm – 6mm. The colonies may contain workers; eggs; larvae; pupae; one or morelarge wingless reproductive queens; winged unmated queen and males.
Jamaica RIFA ants are distinguished from other ant species (using a microscope) by thecharacteristics of their antenna
which has ten segments with a two-segmented club;two-segmented pedicel (waist between the two segments of the body) and a stinger,visible at the tip of the worker’s abdomen.
Their mounds are not always evident but are usually found in open areas exposed to thesun, for example lawns, pastures, cultivated areas.
RIFA ants mounds may also be found in cemeteries; parks; playing fields; within walls of structures; under sidewalks, slabs androadways; inside cars and trucks; next to or underneath other objects on the ground(timber, logs, rocks, bricks etc.); in and around heat pumps, junction boxes and trafficlights.
- Knowing what the ant needs is vital to making your home or yard less inviting. Some ants eat wood. Others eat people’s food, and some feed on decaying plants and other insects.
- Fix leaky pipes or clogged gutters, replace any moisture damaged wood and store firewood, where carpenter ants may nest, away from the building.
- If ants are coming inside, consider keeping food in hard, sealed containers, not cardboard boxes or paper wrappers. Attractive items, such as sugar and honey, can also be stored in the refrigerator.
- Seal any cracks and crevices that ants may use to enter your building.
- Keep vegetation around the buildings trimmed so that ants can’t travel from shrubbery or branches to the house.