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Thief Ants Print E-mail

Yellow in color, these ants are very tiny, probably the smallest ants found infesting structures. Often confused with Pharaoh ants. The primary difference between the two species is the thief ant has a 2-segmented antennal club while the Pharaoh ant has a 3-segmented club.

Feeding Habits:
Thief ants often feed on the larvae and food of other ants. They also prey on the immature stages of many insects. They will also feed on other food found within structures, such as dead insects and grease. They also feed on germinating seeds and the honeydew produced by homopterous insects (e.g., aphids, mealybugs, etc.).

Key Inspection Tips: Thorough, professional inspection is the first step in ant extermination. This ant is nicknamed a “thief” because it commonly lives near the nests of other ants and “steals” their larvae and food to feed its own colony. The first step when encountering tiny yellow ants in a structure is to identify whether the ant is a thief ant or a Pharaoh ant. The procedures for controlling ants of these two types vary greatly. Once correct identification of the pest ant involved is made, an inspection can be conducted.

Trails of thief ants may be found along baseboards, on walls, in closets, inside cabinets (particularly ones which contain food products), around sinks and along window sills. Inspections should be focused in rooms where the customer has seen ants. If ants are found, an attempt should be made to follow the trail back to the nest location. Workers forage in set trails which can be found along baseboards, inside cabinets and closets, and on walls. They can use electric wires to move from room to room and have been observed exiting from behind electric wall plates. Their trails are often in the same locations as those of Pharaoh ants. They can easily enter packaged foods due to their small size.

Inspections should be focused on finding possible ant trails on walls near windows and doors. In addition, foraging workers may be found trailing onto the building from tree and shrub branches, which brush against the structure. Any item in contact with the soil, such as rocks, logs and debris, could harbor an ant colony. Nest outdoors may be located in the soil under items such as rocks or logs and inside decaying would found in stumps and logs.

Contributing Conditions:
As many cracks in the exterior walls as possible need to be sealed. Items under which thief ants could nest should be removed. These items include boards, bricks, stones, logs and debris. Firewood should be stored off the ground and as far from the structure as possible.

Call Vanish Pest Control to arrange for one of our Bay area pest control experts to come help you exterminate your ant problems

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