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Greasy food

Thief Ants

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whatever’s bugging you.
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Stop, Thief Ants!

Thief ants (Solenopsis molesta) get their common name because they steal larvae, pupae, and food from the nests of other nearby ant species to feed their own colony. They are also sometimes called “grease ants” because they like to eat greasy food, such as meat and cheese.

Thief ants are the smallest household ants in our area. They invade homes looking for food and more comfortable temperatures – warmth in the fall and cool during hot weather. They nest in cracks and crevices and wall voids, forage actively on set trails, and can be difficult to eliminate without the help of a skilled pest management professional.

Adam’s Gets Rid of Thief Ants Fast!

Fast, Local Response
Competitive Pricing
Friendly Service
Licensed Professionals
100% Satisfaction

Thief Ant Treatment Options

One-time Ant Treatment

Adam’s licensed pest management professional will apply a non-repellent material to the foundation, doors, windows, eaves, and overhangs to create a residual barrier around the exterior perimeter of your home; and will spot treat interior areas, as needed. Adam’s one-time ant treatment comes with a 3-month warranty.

Premier Ant Prevention

Never have ants again. Not only will Adam’s take care of your immediate ant problem, but we will proactively prevent ants from ever becoming a problem again. Most of our ant control customers prefer our 2x Premier Ant Prevention Service.

Premier Perimeter

Need to prevent more pests than just ants? Adam’s Premier Perimeter Program includes a minimum of 3 preventive barrier treatments around the exterior perimeter of your home for year-round prevention of common household bugs, including insects, spiders, and ants. Your Pest Management Professional inspects for pests, and then applies a season-specific, non-repellent, residual material to control common household pests before they can get inside. Comes with a 12-month guarantee.

Premier Home Pest Prevention

Adam’s best value for prevention and control of common household pests, including ants! Adam’s Premier Home Pest Prevention service provides year-round pest prevention with a minimum of four visits throughout the year. Service visits focus on the exterior of your home, where most pest problems originate. And should a pest problem ever occur between scheduled visits, the plan includes additional treatments at no additional charge. This program includes common household pests like spiders, centipedes, sow bugs, and roaches and seasonal pests like wasps, multicolored Asian lady beetles, boxelder bugs, and mice, as well as ants.

More About Thief Ants

HOW CAN I TELL IF I HAVE THIEF ANTS?

  • Seeing thief ants is the most typical indication of an infestation. Thief ants may be seen occasionally along a trail from their food source to their nest. Thief ants may also be found in food products.
  • Locating thief ant colonies indoors may take extra effort because their nests are often in isolated and inaccessible places.

WHERE DO I LOOK FOR THIEF ANTS?

  • Outdoors, thief ants nest in moist soil, under objects on the ground such as stones and logs, and in rotting wood. They may also occupy the mounds of other ants, close to the brood chambers.
  • Indoors, thief ants will nest in small spaces, in wall voids, in the space behind and beneath cabinets, under countertops, and behind baseboards.
  • Thief ants forage on set trails which may be seen inside cabinets, along baseboards, on walls, and along branches of trees and shrubs.
  • They may also move from room to room by traveling on electrical wires; and are sometimes found in electrical outlets.

WHAT DO THIEF ANTS LOOK LIKE?

  • Thief ants are yellow to light brown.
  • Thief ants are extremely small, workers measure about 1/32” – 1/20” in length.
  • Queens are similar to workers in color, but are larger.
  • Thief ants have an uneven shaped thorax that lacks spines.
  • Their petiole has two nodes.
  • They have compound eyes that are small in proportion to their head.
  • Thief ants have a small, visible stinger at the end of their abdomen.
  • Thief ants and pharaoh ants can be mistaken for one another because they are similar in size and color. The most recognizable difference is that the thief ants’ antenna has 10 segments ending in a 2-segmented club, while the pharaoh ants’ antenna has 12 segments and a 3-segmeneted club.

ARE THIEF ANTS DANGEROUS?

  • Thief ants have the ability to bite and sting, however they rarely do.
  • Because thief ants feed on dead rodents and insects they can introduce diseases and contaminate food.
  • Due to their very small size, thief ants can get into packaged food that would be otherwise inaccessible to larger pests.

WHY ARE THIEF ANTS IN MY HOUSE?

  • Thief ants come indoors for warm temperatures and greasy food.

WHAT CAN I DO TO PREVENT THIEF ANTS?

Two important DIY thief ant prevention techniques are to eliminate their food sources and exclude entry:

  • Clean up all crumbs and spills
  • Do not leave dirty dishes in your sink overnight
  • Seal cracks in your foundation and siding and caulk gaps around windows and doors
  • Repair or replace damaged screens on windows and doors
  • Install door sweeps on the bottoms or all exterior doors
  • Keep trash can lids securely fastened
  • Cut back the branches of overhanging trees and bushes that touch the side of structures. 

WHAT DO THIEF ANTS EAT?

Thief ants eat protein and greasy foods, such as meats, vegetable oil, dairy products, and peanut butter, but will also eat sweets. 

WHAT IS THE THIEF ANTS’ LIFECYCLE?

  • Colonies of thief ants are relatively small, containing several hundred to a few thousand individuals with numerous queens.
  • Winged sexuals mate during swarming that takes place from July through September
  • A single inseminated queen can establish a new colony on her own.
  • The queen lays between 27 and 387 eggs per day.
  • Workers developed from egg to adult in approximately 52 days.