Household Ants in Malaysia
(JPS NA & CY Lee)
Thief Ants: Facts, Identification & Control
Thief ants are easily confused with Pharaoh ants. Identification is very important before pest management steps are taken and it is best to have these ants identified by an expert.
Thief ants are yellow to light brown; workers measure about 1/20 inch long. They have a tendency to curl up when they die.
Thief ants have the following characteristics:
1) petiole with two nodes,
2) thorax lacking spines,
3) 10 segmented antennae,
4) antennal club composed of 2 segments, and 5) small compound eyes in proportion to their head [compare with Pharaoh ants].
Prefer protein and greasy foods, such as meats, cheese and peanut butter, and nuts, but will also eat sweets. They are small enough to enter almost any type of food container..
Thief ants commonly nest in soil and rotting wood. They can nest indoors in small spaces, such as under countertops, in wall voids, cabinet voids, behind baseboards. Nests are often difficult to find.
July through September.
Thief ants are especially common during mid to late summer when they enter homes from outside nests. Locating and treating nests is not practical. Treat the building perimeter when thief ants are foraging into buildings from outside nests. When nests are located indoors, baiting is the most effective management method. .
Spraying with pesticides and baiting.