Thief ants are an interesting species of ant. They received their name because they steal larvae and pupae from other colonies. These ants are one of the smallest species of ants, so it can make their colonies hard to find. They can hide easily in small crevices and can even get inside food packaging. If they have infested your home, you will most likely see them. You might find a trail from their food source to their colony as well. They are not dangerous, but they can contaminate your food, so if you do see them, it is best to call Nashville Pest Control.
Appearance and Life-cycle:
Thief ants can easily be wrongly identified as pharaoh ants. It is important to call professionals so the ants inside your home can be identified correctly. There are also a few key differences that you can look for. Thief ants are one of the smallest ants measuring at 1.5-2.2mm long. Their antennae have 10 segments with a 2-segmented club. They have a color range from yellow to brown. They have a waist with 2 nodes, a thorax without a spine, and small compound eyes.
Thief ants mate June through September. Eggs take 50 days to a few months to develop into adults.
Habitat and Behavior:
They typically build their nests outside, generally under rocks. When they nest inside, they hide in cracks and cupboards. They can also hide under counter tops and baseboards. They are small enough to get inside food packaging. Their diet can consist of protein and greasy foods when living inside or dead insects, immature forms of other ants, and rodents when living outside.
Thief ant colonies are generally smaller than other ant colonies. Even so, each colony can have two or more queens and several thousand workers.
Level of Danger:
Thief ants are not dangerous to humans, but they are dangerous to your food. Because they are small enough to get inside food packaging, it doesn’t take much to contaminate your food. Call professionals as soon as possible to take care of the problem.
Signs of Infestation:
When they have infested your home, they will leave trails from the food source to their nest. The most obvious sign of infestation is seeing the thief ant crawling around in your home.
There are a couple things you can do to prevent a thief ant infestation in your home. It helps to keep vegetation, mulch, landscape timbers, firewood, and debris away from your home’s foundation. It is also important to minimize moisture, so make sure to fix any leaking pipes or faucets. Do not leave any open food containers lying around, including pet food. Regularly taking out the garbage is a simple chore, but it can do wonders for keeping your home ant free.
If your home is infested with thief ants, make sure to call the professionals at Nashville Pest Control. Getting rid of thief ants is difficult on your own. Professionals can also correctly identify the ant, which is key for treatment.