Little Yellow Ant

Actual Size: 2 mm

Characteristics: Very small; tan to yellow in color

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: No

Habitat: Dead branches of vegetation, both on living trees and on twigs resting on the soil surface. Will nest in gardens and make their way inside homes and structures.


  • Detected in Florida for the first time in 2017
  • At just 2 mm long, this invasive species can be hard to detect
  • Will invade homes and backyards displacing native ant species

Little Yellow Ants in Puerto Rico

In early 2017, researchers spotted the little yellow ant in Florida for the first time in the continental United States. Now found in areas beyond Florida, the little yellow ant constructs super colonies with multiple queens and has excellent foraging skills. Little yellow ants can invade homes and backyards, and have been shown to be extremely successful in displacing other ant species from properties.

Little Yellow Ant Habitat

In the San Juan area, nests have been detected in dead branches of vegetation, both on living trees and on twigs resting on the soil surface. Little yellow ant workers and queens forage on the nectar of flowers. In addition to foraging for nectar, these ants have also been observed tending aphids and feeding on dead insects.  Indoors, foraging ants were eventually found infesting a home. The household invasion originated from the garden as ants entered the structure foraging for food. Worker and queens were observed on kitchen counter tops feeding on pet food.

Little Yellow Ant Behaviors, Threats or Dangers

The little yellow ant does not bite or sting. However, this tiny ant has the ability to displace larger native ant species. Researchers once observed that in just six months, the tiny yellow ant displaced the big headed ant colony that was dominant in the area. Large colonies were then detected in neighborhoods covering several city blocks. At less than 2 mm in length, little yellow ants can be hard to detect. Over time, colonies spread out and grow to extremely large numbers, making them very difficult to control. It’s very important to always contact a licensed ant exterminator for help with little yellow ant problems in your neighborhood.