Moisture ants are a special species of ant; just as the name implies, moisture ants are mostly found in moist areas. This ant establishes its colony in waterlogged areas, as they require lots of water for survival.
Even though cornfield ants are widespread in the North and Midwest of the United States, they are most frequently seen inside homes in the Pacific Northwest states of Washington and Oregon.
In this article, the facts, identification, and how to get rid of this ant are discussed.
What are Facts About Moisture Ants?
Moisture ants might be considered nuisances, but there are still some amazing facts about these ants. This ant is also known as Lasius, the moisture consists of 133 species which are classified into:
These ants are attracted to a moist environment; they can survive both indoors and outdoors.
What Do Moisture Ants Look Like?
Most people mistake these ants for carpenter ants and sugar ants because of their looks. However, there are lots of features that you can use to identify these ants and differentiate them from the carpenter ant.
Below are the differences between moisture ants and carpenter ants:
- Colour: Moisture ants are usually yellow or light brown, while Carpenter ants are black or dark brown.
- Moisture Dependence: Of course, they are reliant on moisture, while carpenter ants are not dependent on moisture but will still feed on a rotten log.
- Wings: They have black wings, while carpenter ants have white, translucent wings.
- Size: Workers are 4.0 mm to 4.5 mm in length.
What is the Behavior of Moisture Ants?
Just as with any other type of ant, this pest has certain things it gets attracted to. They are easily found in damp wood, and at times they exhibit the wood-eating behaviour of termites.
When these ants are infested, there’s every possibility that they can eat any wooden furniture they come across. This sometimes makes people consider them termites.
In cases of damp floors, wet walls, leaking taps, moist furniture, and leaking roofs, these cases constitute favourable breeding conditions for this pest.
However, if habitat is established and the rate of reproduction increases, this could severely cause damage to the infested home.
Also, they are related to the carpenter ants in that they establish a colony in the infested wood.
What Do Moisture Ants Eat?
These ants will feed on anything sweet, especially honeydew from aphids. However, they also eat little insects like planthoppers, mealybugs, and whiteflies.
One very strange thing about this ant is that it extends care to young aphids to obtain the honeydew they collect.
Also, measures have to be taken if you spot these ants in your home, as they also feed on food items in the kitchen.
How do Moisture Ants Reproduce?
During summer, the females and winged males fly out of the colony in large masses. During this period, mating occurs, and pregnant females form new colonies. Every colony has a single queen, who generates the rest of the colony.
Do Moisture Ants Fly?
Not all members of the colony have wings to fly. The female ants and winged males can fly and tend to swarm away from their colonies to mate and form new colonies. So the point stated is: Yes, they fly, but not all fly (some males).
Where Do Moisture Ants Build their Habitats?
From their names, it is certain where these ants reside. They build nests outdoors under rocks and rotten logs.
They also often build habitats underneath these rotten logs. But indoors, these ants build nests under your thick, flat concrete floor and push out soil through these concrete cracks.
You may see this soil in your home and mistake it for termites. Well, you are wrong, as it’s the work of moisture ants.
How Do Moisture Ants Get into My Home?
These harmless pests are often mistaken for carpenter ants, and people tend to squash them when they spot them.
They are not in any way harmful or dangerous, as they will not bite or cause you any harm in your home. They instead serve beneficial purposes as they help in the identification of rotten wood in your home.
You want to know how these harmless creatures got into your home and what attracts them. They tend to survive more in damp areas and are certainly attracted to rotten/decayed wood in your building.
The most popular nesting site for moisture ants is mostly your bathroom, as water tends to damage wood near bathtubs, etc.
If you live in a home with crawl spaces and access to attics, your home is definitely at risk as the workers go out in search of honey in such places.
What are the Signs of Moisture Ants in My Home?
Although these ants are not in any way serious pests, their increase in colony members in an infested area may lead to damage to already decayed wood unless you notice these signs early.
Below are signs of infestation:
- Accumulation of soil in floors and concrete cracks. These signs are usually said to be caused by termites, but they are the main signs of a moisture ant infestation.
- If excreted wood is visibly visible, this is a sign of an infestation.
- Spotting moisture ants in your home is a visible sign of an infestation.
If you notice any of these signs in your home, do not rush to conclusions; instead, contact an expert for better identification.
How Do I Get Rid of Moisture Ants?
It is more difficult to get rid of these harmless creatures, as these ants are already aware of the source of moisture and will keep coming unless the affected area is dissolved.
Below are ways to get rid of these ants in your home:
- Fix areas damaged by moisture and remove any source of leakage in your building.
- Get rid of rotten furniture anywhere in your home, even outside in gardens, attics, etc.
- Use special chemicals to terminate moisture ants and stop an infestation.
- If the problem seems out of hand, contact experts to help identify the source and get rid of the problem.
If these pests are not gotten rid of early enough, the situation becomes more serious and intense as it leads to an even more serious infestation by carpenter ants and termites.
Read also: How To Get Ants Off Couch
Now you certainly know everything about these harmless but disturbing creatures. Just like humans, they also love honey. I mean, who wouldn’t? For contributions or suggestions, feel free to contact us.
While searching for food, moisture ants will break inside homes from their nests in the yard. Sometimes, when there’s a water leak, an outdoor colony will go inside the kitchen or bathroom.
Thank you for reading!