Moisture Ant Control: Protect Your Home

Facts

  • Name: The common name “moisture ant” generally includes ants with the common name of yellow ants (Acanthomyops) and cornfield ants (Lasius).
  • Distribution: Both of these ant groups are found throughout the continental United States.
  • Attraction: If a property owner has a moisture problem in the home or business, chances are pretty good they currently have or may have a future moisture ant issue.

Behavior

Rotting Wood
Moisture ants have an interesting behavioral trait whereby they collect and carry water from sources such as:

  • Dripping faucets
  • Toilet bowls
  • Water puddles
  • Poor drainage areas

They place water on the wood, which in time causes the wood to rot.

Nests
Not surprisingly, moisture ants choose to make their nests in and around moist, rotting or decaying wood or underneath rocks. Moisture ants are secretive, and forage for food mostly at night.

Diet

Moisture ants do not feed on wood like termites; rather they forage for honeydew and other sweet substances produced by aphid and other insects. In addition, they feed on fungus growing in damp wood.

Some species of moisture ants prey on both living and dead small insects. Where cornfield ant populations are particularly large, they will sometimes move indoors and feed on sweets and other available food debris.

Habitat

Outdoors
Colonies usually nest in decayed logs, stumps and under rocks, but some may be found living in the soil.

Moisture ants nest in and around foundation walls and soil under buildings on slab construction.

Indoors
Indoors, they may be found where plumbing leaks occur. Their habitat can basically become almost any protected place where there is decaying wood and too much moisture.

Reproduction

Moisture ants mate during reproductive swarms that usually occur in late summer to early autumn.

However, swarms also may occur indoors in the winter if ants are nesting under heated concrete slabs.

Dangers

Damaged Wood
While moisture ants are a nuisance, especially when swarms invade a home or business, they are not considered primary structural pests.

While they may accelerate the deterioration of wood, they are nowhere as destructive as termites or carpenter ants.

While never wise to overlook the presence of moisture ants, your Western Pest Control Specialist can advise you whether or not the infestation justifies the expense of replacing decaying wood or applying pest control products.

Treatment

Steps to Take
The first step to treat moisture ants is determine whether the ant is a moisture ant or another kind of ant.

The second step is to determine where the ant’s nest(s) are located and where the ants are coming from.

Call on the Experts
The best way to treat and prevent moisture ants is to seek the assistance of your pest management professional. Some of the primary components of your pest control service program will include:

  • Inspection and identification
  • Locating sources of moisture and nest locations
  • Cultural control – recommendations to replace wet, decaying wood or wet soil under the structure with sound, dry wood and controlling sources of moisture
  • Control using registered products
  • Follow-up visits as needed to resolve moisture ant pest pressures

Learn more about Western’s comprehensive Home Pest Control Plans.

Call for service: (877) 250-3857