Thief Ants

Close up of pavement ant.

Thief Ants


Color: Brown and black bodies with pale legs and antennae.

Characteristics: These ants build outdoor nests in pavement cracks and along curbs and under rocks. In homes, they can be found in walls and under floors.

Size: Very small. 1/16 of an inch to ⅛ of an inch in length. Queens can be much larger, however.

Danger Level: Minimal due to disease spread.

What is a thief ant?

Thief ants are a tiny species of ant whose name comes from their habit of building nests near other, larger ant species. Thief ants will create tiny tunnels to connect to the other ants’ nests. They then use these tunnels to steal larvae and pupae from the other colony as a food source.

Thief ants appear to be smooth and shiny and can be yellow, bronze, or dark brown in color. Their ten segment antennae end in a two-segmented club. Thief ants are known on average to grow to about 1/16 of an inch, but can range anywhere from 1/32 to 1/8th of an inch.

Why do I have thief ants?

Thief ants thrive both indoors and outdoors. Outside of buildings, they will commonly nest in open areas of soil, beneath rocks, near sidewalks or foundations, and inside of rotting wood. While thief ants are known for stealing some of their food from other ants, they are also common foragers for food inside of homes.

A thief ant’s typical diet can include foods that are high in protein: grease, cheese, meat, and oily foods. Thief ants in homes will commonly make their nests behind woodwork and baseboards or beneath masonry and other flooring.

Are thief ants dangerous?

Thief ants cannot bite or sting, but they do pose some risk when they introduce diseases into your home or contaminate your food. Thief ants’ small size makes infiltrating food packaging a real concern. As they infest food packaging, they will often contaminate large quantities. Thief ants that feed on dead or decaying animals can introduce pathogens into your home that may pose risk of fever, diarrhea, and vomiting. They’re also thought to be intermediate hosts for poultry parasites and tapeworms.

How do I get rid of thief ants?

Due to their large numbers, tiny size, and excellent hiding abilities, it can be hard to remove thief ants from your home. The best way to safely remove them is to contact the pest control professionals at Wil-Kil. Our effective ant control strategies and services can eliminate the problem.

Can I remove thief ants myself?

DIY ant treatments and products aren’t usually effective because they don’t treat the root problem: how ants are getting inside your home. Pesticides can also pose a real danger to your pets or family, and are often more harmful to them than the ants they’re meant to treat.

How can I prevent thief ants from coming back?

Preventing thief ant infestations can be difficult because of their size. These tiny pests can enter your home through even the smallest cracks and crevices. The best way to keep ants from returning is to seal any noticeable cracks and crevices in the foundation and exterior walls. YOu can also install door sweeps and caulk any gaps around windows and doors. For food storage, invest in sealed glass or plastic containers that are airtight, and try to store as many items in the refrigerator as you can.

Contact Wil-Kil Pest Control for Thief Ant Removal Today

If thief ants are infiltrating your home and crawling across the surfaces in your kitchen, contact us today to schedule an appointment for pest control services. In addition to your thief ant issues, we’ll inspect the property and identify all potential pest problems you may encounter as well as steps you can take to reduce pest pressures in and around your home.

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Thief Ants in Sun Prairie, WI

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