These small ants are very common in Quebec. Varying from brown to black, the workers are between 2.2 mm to 3 mm long. They are often called field ants. They form huge colonies with 5,000 to 15,000 individuals. Their queen lives for about 20 years, which explains the proportions that a colony can reach when the conditions are favourable! Since their favourite food is aphid honeydew, they raise aphids in their colonies. They are also attracted to sweet food that they can find in our homes, which sometimes causes impressive ant infestations when conditions are favourable.
Field ants are also attracted to pieces of wood that are rotting or extremely damaged by humidity. The ants are often found under ceramic tiles in bathrooms, and more specifically under the shower or in the kitchen under appliances that leak, such as a dishwasher. Colonies can also establish their nest in a structural void in a house using rotten wood found onsite.