The thief ant is one of the smallest ant species found in America. They only reach about the width of a pencil or pen’s tip. They are also well known for stealing larva from other ant colonies for food which is how they received the name “Thief Ant.” These ants can become a special kind or trouble when they invade a home. Due to their size, they can be difficult to control and prevent from contaminating food. Animal Pest Management Services, Inc will share how you can control and identify thief ants when they invade your home.
Thief VS Pharaoh Ant
As stated, thief ants are very small. They are yellowish, red or brown in color. However how many professionals identify ants is by their antennae. The thief ant has ten segments of antennae, two of which are a segmented club at the tip. The thief ants body shape has a waist with two nodes. Their thorax doesn’t have a spine and is very small. Thief ants also have very small eyes where most ant eyes are big. They are often confused with the Pharaoh ant who has 12 segments, rather than ten. Another separating trait is how the two forage. Thief ants stay in straight lines or trails, where pharaoh ants most often don’t use trails.
What Do Thief Ants Eat & Where Do They Live?
When you have thief ants in your home you will see the workers foraging for food. Thief ants will eat anything and due to their size they are known to squeeze inside packaging and sealed food containers. They favor protein or sweet food, but they also like greasy or fatty foods and will feed on dead insects. Thief ants become a major problem in the summer while they are looking for food and water during hot weather and can find the smallest openings to enter homes. In most cases, thief ants nest outside, under large rocks, debris or other areas that help hide their nest.
Thief Ant Prevention
Controlling thief ants is very challenging since their nests are hard to find and they are very small. They find the tiniest spaces to enter homes. To help control thief ants you must deny them food or water. Again, this is a challenging task. However, by keeping your home clean and free of crumbs and other discarded food, you are making a step in the right direction. You will want to use air tight container to help protect your food. Make sure to use a good quality container that can keep pests or ants out. Keep dishes clean and avoid allowing them to set in the sink for too long. You may want to make sure your faucets are not leaking. Ants do require water and a single drop is enough to provide water to a small group of ants. Another major problem is pet food. For those who leave pet food out for their pets, you are feeding the ants. Put your pet on a feeding schedule and avoid leaving food out.
Ant Inspections, Control, Removal & More in San Bernardino, Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside & San Diego Counties, California
Your last and best defense against thief ants is a professional pest control service. We can locate the nests to properly treat the problem at the source. If you need help controlling thief ants or other pests around your home or business, contact Animal Pest Management Services, Inc today.