Thief Ants (Grease Ants)- "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 Ants

  • 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 - First, 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 which is so tiny. Grease ants are able to squeeze through the tiniest of entry points.

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 crumps on countertops, floor, table 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 about carpenter ants articles and learn more about other linked pest-related problems.

Pesticide - To eliminate this pest and their 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.

A.N.T. Pest Control is a licensed, certified and insured company. We serve New Lenox, Manhattan, Joliet, Frankfort, Mokena, Tinley Park, Orland Park and the surrounding suburbs. A.N.T. will earn your trust... 



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