Color: Brown to black bodies with paler legs and antennae.
Characteristics: Build outdoor nests in cracks of pavement, along curbs and under rocks. Inside they commonly nest in walls and under floors.
Size: Typically about 1/16 of an inch to 1/8 of an inch long, although the queens are much larger at 3/8 of an inch long.
Potentially Dangerous: No
What is a Thief ant?
Thief ants are a very small species of ant that get their name from their habit of building their nesting areas near another larger species of ant. They create tiny tunnels that connect to the other ant’s nest and the thief ants will use the tunnels to steal the larvae and pupae from the other colony to use as a food source.
Thief ants have a smooth shiny appearance and can be yellow, bronze or dark brown in color. They have 10 segmented antennae that end into a 2-segmented club. Thief ants grow on average to be about 1/16th of an inch in length, but can range from 1/32 to 1/8th of an inch.
Why do I have them?
Thief ants will nest both indoors and outdoors. Outdoors they nest in open areas of soil, under rocks, near sidewalks or foundations, and inside of rotting wood. Even though thief ants steal some of their food from other ants they often forage for food inside of homes. They eat a wide variety of foods, especially those that are high in protein like grease, cheese, meat and oily foods. Once inside of your home they may create a nesting area behind woodwork and baseboards, and under masonry and flooring.
Are they dangerous?
Thief ants do not bite or sting but they can introduce diseases into your home and contaminate your food. Because of their extremely small size they can easily infiltrate food packaging, infesting and contaminating a large quantity of food located in the kitchen. Thief ants have been known to feed on dead and decaying animals so they can introduce pathogens into your home that can cause fevers, diarrhea, and vomiting. They are also thought to be intermediate hosts for poultry tapeworm.
How do I get rid of thief ants?
Getting rid of thief ants can be very tricky because they invade your home in very large numbers, and hide in many areas throughout your home. The best way to safely and quickly get rid of an infestation is to contact a pest control professional. At Wil-Kil Pest Control we offer effective ant control services that will get rid of your thief ant problem.
Can I do it myself?
Do-it-yourself ant treatments and products are not usually effective, and don’t work to treat the root of the problem which is finding out and stopping how the ants are getting into your home. Also, pesticides that are used in DIY pest control can be more harmful to people and pets than they are to the actual thief ant.
How soon can you get here?
At Wil-Kil Pest Control, our goal is to help you in the shortest time possible, while resolving your thief ant problems in the most cost effective manner possible.
How can I prevent this in the future?
Preventing thief ant infestations is difficult because their small size allows them to enter into your home through even the tiniest of cracks and crevices. It still can be helpful to inspect your home and seal any noticeable cracks and crevices in the foundation and exterior walls. You should also install door sweeps and caulk any gaps around windows and doors. Inside your home you should store food in sealed glass or plastic containers or in the refrigerator.
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