Excuse me, is there an entomologist in the house?


There was a giant black ant in our den! I’m not kidding when I say giant… this thing is about half an inch long! I caught it in a disposable plastic container and took pictures as proof. Sorry they are all ugly and stuff, but I just wanted to show the horror of horrors we found in our house this evening as we were sitting down to watch Heroes.

Giant Killer Ant

Giant Killer Ant (underside)


Please! Someone identify this thing and let me know if they are *shudders* invasive or poisonous or dangerous! And WTF was it doing in our den? Scouting for a new place to watch TV? Needed a new place to nap? Wanted to enjoy the view of our indoor garden*?

I think if there isn’t an entomologist available, I will take the best shot from my Answer Manâ„¢.

I don’t want to kill it, but I am definitely not going to let this thing roam around our house.


*By “indoor garden,” I actually mean two potted plants and a lucky bamboo plant.

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19 Responses to “Excuse me, is there an entomologist in the house?”

  • Okay.. that IS really gross but… how did you like Heroes last night?? Twitter me girl!

  • What it appears you have there for me to marvel at is a really healthy species of the industrious carpenter ant:


    This may indeed only be a scout on the lookout for food and water from a larger colony established somewhere outside, or it could portend of a satellite colony tht’s set up house inside your place. While not venomous carpenter ants are certainly something you don’t want to have around. They don’t eat wood like termites but they do burrow and excavate into it to make the nests they need.

    The statement that particularly interests me from the link above lists one of the telltale signs that you ahve carpenter ants as being able to actually hear them at work during the night shift:

    “Listen for ant sounds in the quiet of the night. When the ants are chewing, or simply moving around in the nest, they make a sound like rustling cellophane.”

    Wow. Cue the creepy music.

    As you know I don’t advocate the killing of anything and if this one’s just rolling solo from outside the only problem you have is that there’s a way they get into your house. So look (and listen, mwaaaahahaha) for some of the other signs inside. If there’s none and you have the time and inclination you might want to set this specimen free outside and put a tail on it to see where it might go. If it heads back inside I’d think about calling the Orkin man. If it goes to the neighborhood 7-11, you might be in the clear. Might be…

    Ooo! Didja hear that? It sounded like… chewing.

  • Ick! Run for cover, Joz!

  • well, as long as your version in Cali doesn’t differ from ours in PA, and that ant is actually black (it’s hard to tell in the pics), you’ve got nothing to worry about. it’s just a big black ant, the kind that love trees, and that wander inside once in a while looking for water (or in response to being flooded out of their home). they don’t like indoor spaces, and I’ve never, ever seen them live in a house, just visit. they also don’t bite, so no worries there. I’ve had many of them in my hands before.

  • I prefer monika’s answer, if only because carpenter ants are NOT something I want to call the landlord about. but what if will’s right? eeeewwwww!!!!!!!!!

  • WOW! I think you need to charge that bad boy rent!

  • “What if Will’s right?”

    What IF…?

    Ahem… since the carpenter ant is one of the most common forms of ant infestation throughout the United States and is mostly black I think Monika’s talking about carpenter ants too. That and the fact that the second biggest black ant around SoCal is the Argentine ant at a teensy 1/10th of an inch.

    But you go with the Pennsylvania precision of “just a big black ant” and try not to let the chewing wake you at night.


  • ick ick iccccccccccck!!

  • I totally won’t be able to sleep now. I’m telling my boss its your fault if I can’t go to work tomorrow.

  • Jesus, that is enormous! Two days on… what was the outcome???

  • yeah I gotta agree with Will, they aren’t totally harmless but its better than the big black ants in India that bite :)

    Personally the last time I had ants like that I put up some ant traps, most of them are smart enough to know to move out and not take up residence.

  • please to excuse the yoshi for ever doubting the answer man. how could I be so disrespectful? hee. chalk it up to wishful thinking.

  • Sometimes I wish the Answer Man wasn’t right. But thank you, Will, for always coming to my factual rescue!

  • PS – Best private comment I had on this post from from J.

    “You got Jurassic Park in your house or what?”

    Dude. If I find a velociraptor running around the house, we’re totally moving.

  • I’m sorry to inform you Joz, what you have there is the rare South American subterranean Army Ant. Just ONE indicates that a nest of MILLIONS of these highly POISONOUS ants are neaby. Probably under your floorboards under your bed. With one queen that is as big as a large Chihuaua that can run REALLY FAST!
    I’d pack up and get out of there as soon as possible.

  • Okay. We just had a disgusting reveal at our house tonight.

    My dear daughter went to use our master shower and came running out screaming: there were big black ants all over our shower head!!!!

    We counted eight total.

    My biggest concern is an infestation. It is January in PA and I have never seen ants like this in my house let alone during winter. Any thoughts?

  • I have found three of these big black ants in my house in the last two days. it’s january and snowing here in TN. i dont like bugs in my house, especially since i have a two year that likes to eat them. i dont care what kind of ant it is (hopefully it doesnt bite) but it almost looks like there MIGHT possibly be a stinger. either way i want them gone!!! i had bought ant killer for the little ones but now i have giant ones this isnt cool at all!! will the ant killer work the same for the big ones or is there something else i should do??

  • Mysterious entomologist

    Looks more like a dealate (de-winged) queen ant – a queen ant which has finished her nuptial flight (and has thus mated), chewed off her wings, and is now looking for a place to stay.

    Her babies will be normal sized of course. Far too large for a carpenter ant. Carpenter ant queens, however are even bigger, just slightly longer than half an inch. And don’t get me started on decades old termite queens…

  • guess what…. I found a giant Black ant on my comforter just this morning.. it scared the heck out of me..I was like WTF… I caught it and showed my 2 sons.. they were like Oh Shit… glad I showed them, they would have never believed me.. Ick…I wonder if they bite..Suzi

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