Catch of the Week: Antlion

Catch of the Week: Antlion

July 21, 2017

Recently, our pest professionals visited a house in Norwalk to take care of an antlion infestation. Antlions are very common in Iowa, but not many people know what they are.

Antlion Appearance

In the larval stage of life, the antlion larvae looks similar to a beetle with intimidating jaws to capture prey.

Mature Antlions look similar to dragonflies, but unlike dragonflies, they have shorter antenna, are weak fliers and are nocturnal. Their coloring varies between black, white, gray, and brown. Their wings are mostly transparent with a speckled look to them.

Antlion Behavior and Habits

Antlions get their name from their diet, which mostly consists of ants that fall into their trap. They burrow deep holes, typically under hedges or eaves, in gardens or anywhere that's protected from direct rainfall. After digging out their cone-shaped pits, they wait at the bottom under a layer of soil to devour victims that fall into the hole.

Another name for the antlion is the "doodle bug". When they are young, they typically live in sand or dirt and can only walk backwards, so when they wander they leave behind a curvy trail that looks like random doodles.

Detecting an Antlion Infestation

Be on the lookout for holes Antlions leave behind that could be dangerous. The cone-shaped traps can have small to large openings and are easier to spot in the spring and summer when Antlions are most active. These insects sometimes roam in a small group and will leave multiple pits in their wake, another possible sign of an infestation.

Des Moines Pest Control

Do you have a pest problem like this homeowner? Our team of trained pest professionals can take care of any insect or rodent problem. Schedule an appointment online or give us a call at (515) 415-5550 today!