Moisture Ants

Category:

Actual Size: ⅛ inch long

Characteristics: Yellow to dark brown

Habits:

  • Moisture ants get their name from the fact that they require moisture to survive.
  • When crushed, moisture ants release a citrus odor.
  • Decaying and rotting wood are primary locations for moisture ants to construct a nest.

Overview

Moisture Ant is a collective name that includes a number of ant species. Moisture ant colonies are medium-sized, numbering anywhere from a few hundred workers to several thousand. Colonies begin with a single mated female. Females are the largest ant in the colony, with a large abdomen for egg production. Males are larger than worker ants, and their sole purpose is to mate with the queen.

Moisture Ant Habitats

Moisture ants construct galleries in rotting wood within which they feed. As their name implies, moisture ants prefer to live in damp and humid environments. Outside, these ants like to inhabit wet areas such as soil or rotting wood. They are often confused for carpenter ants due to their tendency to build colonies in decaying wood. Inside homes, these ants are often discovered behind walls, especially during renovations.

Moisture Ant Behaviors, Threats or Dangers

Unlike carpenter ants, moisture ants will eat damp wood as a food source. These ants thrive in walls around plumbing fixture leaks, roof leaks, and any other source of water that has made wood damp. They will also eat sugary substances, which makes them an even greater threat to homes and businesses. If left unchecked, moisture ants will continue growing their colony.

Spring is when moisture ants swarm. “Swarming” refers to the process by which a percentage of a colony leaves to form another colony. This happens with some other insects, including bees, carpenter ants, and termites. Swarming is one of the most common signs of a moisture ant infestation and occurs

Moisture Ant Prevention

Keeping your home moisture ant-free can be as simple as eliminating any moisture issues on your property. Some of the things you can do to prevent moisture ants include:

  • Promptly fix any leaks or sources of excess moisture in the home. Fix leaking pipes, make sure your sprinklers work correctly and address drainage problems.
  • Maintaining a tidy yard with trimmed shrubs and grass and keeping landscape away from the perimeter of your home.
  • If you already have moisture ants, you may need professional extermination services.