Scientific Name: Solenopsis molesta
Color: Light brown, yellow
Shape: Segmented, Oval
Size: Less than 1/16-inch
Thief ants derive their name from their habit of locating their
colonies close to those of other ants to steal that ant's food and
even capture and eat the other ant's eggs and larvae. They are one
of the smallest ants found infesting buildings, measuring less than
1/16-inch in length.
Colonies can be several hundred to several thousand workers and
multiple queens. They feed on a wide variety of organic items, including
insects, honeydew and seeds.
This ant will nest in soil, in wood, in voids, and in just about
any suitable location. Finding the nests is extremely difficult.
In homes, trails are often seen in bathrooms and kitchens and in
and around windows where the ants can find moisture and food. The
ants nest in small crevices, in both wood and masonry.
Thief ants have been observed feeding on dead rats and mice and
could contaminate human food with disease organisms.
Thief ants can be difficult to control. Often they are mistaken
for Pharaoh ants; unfortunately, the baits used to control that
ant may not be effective for thief ants. Thief ants tend to prefer
foods with higher protein and fat content. The experience of a professional
with access to a number of different ant baits is likely to achieve