Small honey ants
What do small honey ants look like?
Adult small honey ants grow to be only about 1/8 of an inch in length. They live in fairly small colonies compared to other ants in our region, having only about 1500 workers and 1 to 6 queens. They are light brown to dark shiny brown; their triangular shaped abdomen is always darker than the rest of their body and has a circular pattern of hairs on its tip. Small honey ants do not have a stinger and are not known to bite people or pets. They are mainly considered to be a nuisance pest.
Where are small honey ants found?
Small honey ants typically live outside, creating their nests in the soil of well-shaded flower beds, underneath logs, and under large stones or similar objects. They place the soil that they excavate in distinctive crescent-shaped mounds on top of the ground. These ants are referred to as “cold weather” ants because they are very cold weather tolerant and are typically the first species of ant to send out active foragers from the nest during the cold weather months. Small honey ants are less active in the summer when temperatures are at their hottest; the ants will remain in their nest deep in the cool, moist soil. Small honey ants usually enter homes and other buildings together in trails while foraging for food. Once inside, if they decide to stay and nest, they often choose to do so inside the soil of potted houseplants.
What do small honey ants eat?
Small honey ants are very fond of sugary substances. Sweet foods and liquids are what make up the majority of their diet. These ants love to dine on honeydew - a sweet liquid produced by plant-feeding insects like aphids and mealybugs. They will also feed on the juices from over-ripe fruit, sap that they extract from flower bugs, and other live and dead insects. When foraging for sweets inside a home, they happily feed on honey, syrups, sugary drinks, fruits, ketchup, bread, and dessert items.
DIY small honey ant prevention and control tips
There are several steps that you can take in and around your Quad City home to help prevent small honey ants from invading and contaminating your food sources. It is a good idea to place garden areas and fruit trees a distance away from the outside of your home and to pick up fruits and vegetables that have fallen to the ground. Make sure that trash being stored outside is always placed in trash cans that have tight-fitting lids. Seal or caulk gaps found in your home’s foundation, exterior walls, and around windows and doors. Inside your home, regularly wash dishes, remove garbage, clean up spills and crumbs, and store food inside sealed containers or in the refrigerator instead of out in the open on counters or tables.
Professional small honey ant control
At Quik-Kill Pest Eliminators, we have the experience and training to accurately identify and treat ants that have infested your home or business. Our ant control professionals will inspect, treat, and effectively stop small honey ants and other nuisance pests from invading. For affordable and effective pest control, please contact us today.