The Thief Ant
As one of the smallest household ants, you might think that thief ants don’t have the ability to cause any kind of destruction in your home. However, these tiny insects can wreak havoc on your home’s cleanliness and security. If you notice any signs of them, be sure to get rid of them right away.
HOW TO IDENTIFY THIEF ANTS
Thief ants are tiny, at only 1/32” long. They are light yellow or red in color, with distinctive black markings on their abdomens. They have two enlarged nodes between the abdomen and thorax and a ten-segmented antenna. These ants are often confused with pharaoh ants, which are also small and yellow in color. However, pharaoh ants have black lines on the abdomen and twelve-segmented antenna. These ants have six legs and are found throughout most of the United States.
Appearance, Behavior, and Signs
These ants live in soil as well as in rotting wood. They find their way indoors by entering through extremely small crevices and will build their nests beneath counter-tops, in wall voids, or behind baseboards. They get their name from their proclivity towards stealing food from other ant species, although they will also feed on dead insects, greasy foods and proteins, and sweets. Once they’ve made their way into your home, they will feed on unopened packages of food as well as crumbs left on the counter.
Thief ants usually stay outdoors, preferring to reside in small crevices and woodwork. However, when the weather turns especially hot, they will come indoors to search for food and to stay cool.