If you are living in Canada, thief ants are probably the smallest household pests you have encountered. These ants get their name from their habitual behavior of setting up nests close to the colonies of other ant species and stealing from them. They invade other ants’ nests through small passages that are too tiny for the larger ants to access. They are also referred to as grease ants since they prefer grease as a food source. Their small size makes it difficult to recognize them and, as such, it is important to talk to professionals like ants control Vancouver; ants control Richmond, ants control Surrey, ants control Langley, ants control Burnaby, ants control Abbotsford, ants control Coquitlam, ants control Delta, ants control Maple Ridge as well as ants control Tsawwassen.
Thief ants are easily mistaken for pharaoh ants since the color and size of workers bears a great deal of similarities. Thief ants are known to be yellow to light brown in color. Their worker ants are 1.3 mm to 1.8 mm while queens are about 6 mm in length. Their distinction from pharaoh ants lies in their antennae, which have ten segments and end in a two-segmented club. They possess a stinger at the tip of their oblong abdomen but it may not be exerted. The workers have large jaws for carrying food.
Both queen and reproductive males have wings and mating occurs during flight. Thief ant queens lay an average of 100 eggs per day. However, the number is approximated between 27 and 387. The eggs take about 52 days to develop into fully mature adults.
Habitat and colonies
Thief ants have a vast variety of living spaces. They can be found in households in cracks on wall and furniture or even under floorboards, especially in the kitchen where food supply is abundant. Their small size allows them easy access to food, including packaged foods. Ant control in outdoor settings is not a walk in the park either. Thief ants nest in rotting logs, under rocks and logs, and in exposed soils. If all else fails, they move into another colony and unnoticeable build tunnels to access its food source.
The sizes of thief ant colonies vary depending on the location of the nest. Colonies with a reliable food source are relatively smaller since they do not require many workers. Colonies have anywhere between a hundred to a thousand workers. Thief ant colonies also have multiple queens.
Greasy foods are the highest among dietary preferences for thief ants. They also eat foods with high protein content including seeds, dairy products, meat, cheese and larvae from other ants’ colonies. They will feed on sweet foods, such as honeydew from aphids, fruits, and sugary soft drinks, if no other food is available.
Thief ant control
To avoid thief ants infestation in your home, you will need to make you’ve followed the below given tips:
- Keep your house clean on a regular basis. Dirty places attract thief ants since they can hide easily and obtain food.
- Replace ripped screens in windows and doors.
- To seal entry paths, fix any crevices or cracks in the foundation or siding of your home.
- Clean up any spills of food or drinks. Even outdoor spillage of food and drinks could lead to infestation. Since these ants are mainly attracted to greasy tastes, they could scurry to the spill and eventually continue into your house.
- Trim down any shrubs or branches of trees that might be touching your house.
- Limit food preparation and consumption to one or two areas inside or outside the house.
- Remove materials that serve as potential thief ant harborages such as piled lumber, bricks, stones, thick mulch, leaf litter, and other debris. Alternatively, store them far from the house.
Thief ants control can be quite complicated. The first and most crucial step should be an inspection of the ant and premises suspected of infestation to ascertain the type of ant. Although thief ants and pharaoh ants are almost identical, there is great variation in the control procedures used for each of the two. Hence, it is advisable to seek professional assistance to eradicate thief ants. You can reach ants control Vancouver; ants control Richmond, ants control Surrey, ants control Langley, ants control Burnaby, ants control Abbotsford, ants control Coquitlam, ants control Delta, ants control Maple Ridge as well as ants control Tsawwassen.