What do thief ants look like?
Thief ants are one of the smallest types of house-infesting ants. Adults grow to be less than 1/16th of an inch in length. They can be pale yellow, light brown, or dark brown and have a smooth, shiny appearance. Their body segments are unevenly rounded and the thorax lacks spines; they also have a 10-segmented antenna that ends in a 2-segmented club.
Where are thief ants found?
Outside, thief ants are found nesting in open soil or underneath trash, pieces of rotten wood, fallen trees, and in tree cavities. Thief ants tend to create their nests near another ant’s nest so that they can create very tiny tunnels that connect to the other colony’s nest. The thief ants then enter the other nest and steal their larvae and pupae to use as a food source for their own colony.
Thief ants tend to enter homes and other structures when the weather outside becomes very hot. They move inside to forage for food. Inside, thief ants use your home’s wires as their own personal highway moving along them from room to room. If they decide to stay and nest within your home, they can be found in small crevices, underneath floors, and behind baseboards.
What do thief ants eat?
Thief ants prefer to feed on food that is high in protein or greasy. Outside, they can be found feeding on basically anything that is organic, such as other insects, mealybugs, and seeds. Inside homes, they will feed on meats, dairy products, animal fats, oils, bread, nuts, and grease; and while it is not their first choice, they will also eat sweet items like fruit.
DIY thief ant prevention and control tips
Taking the following actions will help you to prevent thief ants from invading your home and property.
- Remove piles or organic debris and/or trash from your property.
- Store woodpiles up off the ground and a distance away from the exterior of your home.
- Place outdoor trash cans with tight fitting lids away from the outside of your home until trash pick-up day.
- Seal cracks and crevices found in your home’s foundation, caulk gaps around windows and doors, seal the spaces found around pipes and wires that enter into your home, and install door sweeps underneath all exterior doors.
- Wash dirty dishes and quickly clean up spills and crumbs from floors and counters.
- Place food in air-tight containers; don’t leave food out in the open in kitchen or pantry areas.
Professional thief ant control
For help getting rid of thief ants, Quik-Kill Pest Eliminators is the best choice. Our Home Guardian ℠ Service targets ants AND other household pests that are common to our region. If you’re looking for effective pest control solutions for your home or your business, please contact us today!