Ants from Europe Make the City Their Home
By: Allison Xu
Lasius emarginatus, or nicknamed “ManhattAnt” are currently showing up everywhere in New York City on July 10, 2022. These ants have been showing up in living spaces several stories above the street, and may have arrived by ship.
Many people who live in apartments have seen these ants suddenly show up. Melissa Russell Paige has lived in the same two-floor apartment for eight years, and she’s “never seen an ant even once.” Then, one day, they showed up one day. Her upstairs neighbor shared the same experience.
Katie Guhl also saw them in her apartment after arriving back from a wedding, and her house was before she left. “There were no crumbs to be had,” she said.
People have been also seeing these insects around the city. “We found them in Times Square.They are everywhere,” says Samantha Kennett, a graduate student at Kennesaw State University in South Georgia in Dr. Clint Penick’s social insects lab.
Lasius emarginatus are ant species from Europe. These ants nest in the ground and under logs. Dr. Rob Dunn, a professor in the Department of Applied Ecology at North Carolina State University believes that the ants were in New York City to look for water, and they are not likely to stay.
The ManhattAnts’ arrival is definitely a little sudden. Jesse Scavella of Evergreen Eco Pest Control says that ants are just regular pets, but she’s seen the population increase drastically.
“The rodent population has increased drastically. I’ve seen a big influx in rats,” says Scavella.