- Colour Yellow to light brown
- Size Workers are 1.3 mm to 1.8 mm long, queens are 6 mm long
- Description Thief ants are tiny ants that have two nodes between the thorax and the abdomen. They are easily confused with pharaoh ants and the important distinguishing feature is the antenna that have 10 segments ending in a 2-segmented club.
How to identify Thief Ants
Often mistaken for pharaoh ants due to similarities in colour and size of the workers, and the important distinguishing feature is the antenna that has 10 segments ending in a 2-segmented club.
The thief ants get their names from their habit of stealing food, larvae, and pupae from neighbouring colonies. They are also called “grease ants” due to their preference for grease as a source of food.
Signs of an infestation
Thief ants will travel great distances in search of food and are capable of getting into sealed food containers. They resistant to conventional ant traps, and are not attracted to sweets. It is difficult to find these ants and the best method is to follow the trails back to their nesting location. Thief ants also appear to be resistant to most insecticides. Colonies may establish themselves inside a building and go unnoticed for a long period.
Thief Ants Removal
Thief ants can break into sealed food containers to access and contaminate stored food, but are not attracted to sweet foods and are resistant to conventional ant traps. They also appear to be resistant to most insecticides.
A professional pest control service will be able to tackle a thief ant infestation effectively, by following their trails back to their nesting location, then treating the nest appropriately.
How can I prevent Thief Ants from invading
Clean underneath and around appliances to remove grease and debris. Limit food preparation and consumption to one or two areas. Seal all gaps and cracks in the baseboards, window and door frames. Check and repair all pipe and faucet leaks.
Habitat, Diet, and Life Cycle
A day in the life of thief ants
Thief ants can survive just about anywhere. They can live inside people’s homes, in the walls or under the floorboards. when outdoors, they can build nests under rocks and in exposed soil or logs. When all else fails, they can move into another colony. Thief ants often build tunnels that lead to another ant colony for a reliable and steady source of food.
Colonies can have multiple queens and the number of workers can vary from a few hundred to a few thousand depending on the availability of food. Colonies with a reliable source of food require fewer workers. These ants will forage along natural borders such as walls, and utility lines.
Thief ant queens and drones have wings, both of which take part in mating flights. On average, a single queen will lay 100 eggs each day. The eggs will take 52 days to become workers.
Commonly Asked Questions
Why do I have thief ants?
Thief ants, also called grease ants, steal food, larvae, and pupae from neighbouring colonies, as well as foraging stored food from your kitchen.
They can live almost anywhere inside people’s homes, in the walls or under the floorboards. When outdoors, they can build nests under rocks and in exposed soil or logs.
When all else fails, they can move into another colony. Thief ants often build tunnels that lead to another ant colony for a reliable and steady source of food.
Other pests related to Thief Ant
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