Why do I have these tiny ants in my kitchen?" How do I get rid of them? Read on to learn about how to Identify and control thief ants.

Identification Of Thief AntsA close up look on the body structure of a thief ant

  • 1/25 -1/15” inch in length 
  • Yellow or brown in color
  • Scientific Name: Solenopsis molesta
  • Very, very tiny household ants

Description & Behavior

One of the smallest species of ants compared to large black carpenter ants. In fact, grease ants will sometimes go undetected due to their size and color. Will occasionally find their way into food which will affect the flavor of a meal.

What do thief ants eat? Foods containing grease, fats, and protein are usually their favorite. For instance: Bacon, cheese, ham, and beef are common attractions. Likewise, these pests may also go after sugary foods as well.

Where do "thief ants" get their name from? Consequently, thief ants get their name due to "robbing" resources from neighboring species of ants. They do not borrow? Lol... Find out more about the behavior of grease ants.

Eliminating Thief Ants

Seal up

If you see ants in your house, the first thing you need to do is seal up any cracks and crevices around the home. Moreover, pay keen attention to issues related to the kitchen area. Common crevice areas would include Windows, window frames, door thresholds, where countertops meet the wall, and where flooring makes contact with baseboards. As a result, it is very difficult to exclude a pest that is so tiny. Grease ants are able to squeeze through the tiniest of entry points.

Seal up cracks or any possible entry points for thief ants

Clean-Up & Remove Attraction

In addition to sealing up your home... Clean & remove any food which would attract them. Slide the oven or range out from its location. Give a "deep cleaning to the oven. Be sure to wash the grease in between the pieces of metal. Leave no food or crumbs on countertops, floors, tables, and chairs.

Hidden Problem  

When dealing with thief ants, sometimes there may be an underlying pest issue. Remember... They shoplift from other ant species. So we may need to eliminate other types of ants as well. Consequently, grease ants sometimes are linked to carpenter ants. Be sure to check out carpenter ants articles and learn more about other linked pest-related problems especially if ants in the winter time survive.

Problems about Thief ants


To eliminate this pest and its counterparts, apply a non-repellent pesticide to the perimeter of the structure. Then, apply two variations of bait to the "high activity" area(s) in the interior. Utilize both a "protein" & "carbohydrate" based bait. If this does not work, a non-repellent liquid pesticide should be applied to cracks and crevices within the home.

Dead Ants

When ants see a dead ant, they carry their waste out of the nest and get rid of it in the midden. The midden is a pile. It is like a dumpster which also acts as a cemetery. Ants move the body of a dead ant to prevent contamination of their queen.

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