Bigheaded Ant


Actual Size: 1.5 to 4.5 mm

Characteristics: Range in color from dark brown through shades of red to light yellow. Workers have an unusually large, heart-shaped head.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: The reproductive males and females have wings.

Habitat: Builds nests near water sources. Outdoors, nests are located beneath boards, stones, or at the base of shrubs. Indoors, will build nests in wall voids and insulation.


  • Feeds on sweets, live and dead insects.
  • Workers use their large jaws to crack seeds and other food for the colony.
  • Frequently builds large nests in disturbed habitats such as driveways and lawns.

Bigheaded Ants in the North and East Bay of California

Bigheaded ants get their name from their large heads and can be found infesting homes across the North and East Bay of California. Known for making substantial nests in the sand throughout a lawn or landscape, bigheaded ants unearth soil, bringing it up through cracks in driveways, patios, and pavers on the exterior of homes. Most species of bigheaded ants build nests alongside foundations where they construct mud tubes, which can often be mistaken for subterranean termites.

Bigheaded Ant Habitat

Similar to other ants, bigheaded ants establish well-defined trails between the nest and food and water sources.  Bigheaded ants move quickly and build large colonies with distinct nests, frequently nesting in disturbed habitats like driveways and lawns.  Due to their habit of establishing piles of excavated debris, residents of homes can become annoyed by mounds of sand around the home. Ants often forage into bathrooms, kitchens, around doors, and windows, as well as on exterior paved or brick walkways or driveways.  They will also nest in leaf litter, firewood, fences, and walls.

Bigheaded Ant Behaviors, Threats or Dangers

Bigheaded ants do not generally bite unless disturbed, and even then, their bite is not painful. These ants can cause issues for homeowners as they hunt for food, inside and outside of homes, leaving behind piles of debris and dirt. Infestations can be found near structures, ornamental plant bases, sidewalks, and driveways. Owners of infested buildings typically complain about finding hundreds of both live and dead ants. Control is difficult because unless the entire supercolony is treated, there is a high probability of reinfestation. If you suspect a bigheaded ant issue, it is best to contact a professional ant exterminator.

Don’t wait until your home is overrun by ants. Contact The Hitmen Termite & Pest Control today!