Meet the rover ant

Jul 30, 2021, 12:45 PM by Fred Speer

Invasive insect species have become more common, due to an increase in global trade. These invasive species are introduced to new environments via shipments of agriculture and other products. They can be harmful to our natural resources because they disrupt natural communities and ecological processes.

Invasive insects can also cause severe economic damage to crops, forests, and urban landscapes. The Argentine ant, today the most pervasive ant species in California, is native to South America. It arrived in the U.S. in shipments of coffee and sugar. In structures, invasive termite species like the Formosan subterranean termite can result in extensive economic losses.

Once they become established, invasive insects can be a challenge to eliminate.

A new ant in town

Clark, your friendly termite, grounds care, and pest management expert, would like to introduce you to the latest invasive ant species making its presence felt in California, especially in southern California. The dark rover ant is very small – only about 1-2.5 mm long. Dark rover ants vary in color from reddish-brown to blackish-brown (another rover ant species rarely seen in California is pale yellow to yellowish-brown in color). These ants are often confused with other ant species and even termites.

Outdoors, rover ants can be found in mulch, leaf litter, potted plants, and trash piles. They are common in urban areas with high levels of human activity. Moisture attracts rover ants, so they may often show up in swimming pools or overwatered gardens.

Because rover ants can survive in various habitats, colonies may move indoors looking for sweet foods or shelter. They are scavengers and can be found in bathrooms and kitchens during hot, dry summer months. They typically enter through cracks in home foundations and other openings that allow access inside.

Their colony size is relatively small – several hundred to a few thousand – and while they don’t cause damage to structures, they will aggressively infest wall voids, cinder blocks, electrical outlets, and light sockets.

Rover ant prevention tips

  • - Eliminate excessive moisture inside and outside your home. Rover ants are drawn to moisture-damaged wood or moist areas under debris, landscape timbers, and rocks – deny them their objective.

  • - Seal entrance points around your home’s foundation to prevent easy access.

  • - Keep food in sealed plastic bags or containers. Food, including pet food, containing high amounts of sugar are prime targets for ants.

  • - Clean up food and liquid spills in the kitchen and indoor and outdoor dining areas – ants love leftovers.

Clark Pest Control is committed to safeguarding your home from pests during these challenging times. Our service technicians use such personal protective equipment as gloves, masks, and respirators, they practice social distancing, they call ahead to notify before a service, and they adhere strictly to all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines when servicing inside or outside your home.

If you have questions about ants in and around your home, call or text (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or email us at We are ready to help solve your pest issues.

Until next time, the pest management professionals at Clark Pest Control thank you for helping to keep unwanted pests out of your home.