Prenolepis imparis: Winter ant


February 17, 2022

Photo: Heather Broccard-Bell/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Photo: Heather Broccard-Bell/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Also known as false honey ants or false honeypot ants, winter ants are widely distributed throughout the United States. The shiny, monomorphic workers vary in color from light to dark brown, and are about 1/8 to 1/6 of an inch long. They are not usually troublesome in homes, and spend most of their time close to the ground. However, they will invade homes in search of any type of sweet, bread or meat.

These ants typically nest in damp, clay soils in well-shaded areas. Coarse earthen pellets usually surround the nest entrance. They also may nest under slabs, and emerge through cracks or expansion joints to forage indoors and become a nuisance.

Within the nest, certain workers are fed large quantities of sugary liquids by other workers who forage; these liquids are stored in the greatly distended abdomens of the “honey pot” ants, and regurgitated to other colony members as required.

Source: Truman’s Scientific Guide to Pest Management Operations, Seventh Edition, available for purchase at

About the Author

Ellen Wagner is a former digital editor for PMP magazine.

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