Thief Ants

Solenopsis molesta

Thief Ant Prevention

Thief ants are not so interested in sugars as most other ants.  Proteins are more to their liking.  Thief ants aggressively feed on other ant colonies.  Eliminating other insects from your property and keeping your home free of food debris, as well as keeping your food sealed securely, will go a long way to preventing thief ants.  Having a regular pest control service that eliminates ants in general, will certainly reduce the likelihood of being attacked by thief ants.

Thief Ant Identification

Thief ants are relatively small, averaging about 1/16th of an inch, but you may find them a bit smaller or larger.  The color of the thief ant varies darker or lighter but are generally of a yellow-gold to amber color.

Thief Ant Closeup

Thief Ant Closeup

For more information related to thief ants from the Michigan State University of Diagnostic services, Michigan State University Diagnostic Serices – thief ants

Picture of thief ants surrounding larger winged male

Thief Ants surrounding larger winged male

Thief Ant Habitat, Range and Foraging Characteristics

Thief ants are found extensively in the south and southeastern states, although they can be found in most of the United States.  They will form nests indoors as well as outdoors, often with tunnels connecting to ant nests that they will rob.  They are often found around decaying wood and under rocks and in trees.  In homes they are often tracked back to wall voids.  Naturally, as their name implies, you may find thief ants were you find dead insects, arachnids and rodents.

Pest Control for Thief Ants

As mentioned above, thief ants forage on proteins, especially other ant species.  Therefore, controlling ants and other pests in general will greatly help to eliminate thief ants.  When you eliminate their food, they won´t stick around.  It is equally important to secure your own food, especially proteins.  Due to the small size of thief ants, they can easily squeeze themselves into packaging that is not completely sealed.  Of course, there is nothing better than good house cleaning to keep all foraging ants away.  Be especially diligent around the kitchen and pantry.

Non-repellents are an excellent pest control chemistry of just about any kind of ant.  Since these ants aren´t attracted so much to sweets, you cannot count on all the sweet baits on the market. Pest control companies and Do-It-Yourselfers are advised to mix sweet baits with proteins, grease and oil, with the proviso that you don´t want to dilute the baits too much.  Our recommendations involve use of more modern chemistries that are generally good for ant elimination across the board, combined with good housekeeping and yard management, although these bait mixes are a legitimate means of dealing with a thief ant invasion.

For more information on ants and ant species, visit our page on Ant Control

Hearts Pest Management has both traditional pest control services as well as EcoWise Certified green pest control services available for control of thief ants.

Call today to schedule service or for more information at 800-986-1006

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