Within a well-established colony, the queen of the velvety tree ant lays eggs that will eventually hatch into worker ants.
The workers’ responsibilities include the collection of food, the expansion of the nest, the care of the larvae, and the defense of the colony against any threats.
Velvety tree ants are omnivores. They also consume plant material, other insects, and sweet compounds such as nectar and honeydew, which are secreted by aphids.
What Is a Velvety Tree Ant?
The velvety dark abdomens of velvety tree ants give the insects their name. They are known as “tree ants” because many of these ants build their homes in trees. A velvety tree ant worker gives off a foul stench when crushed. When the colony is disturbed, the workers’ odor is also released.
It is typical for velvety tree ants to be mistaken for carpenter ants because of their resemblance to timber. Large heads with small eyes enable velvety insects to dig and move soil with ease. Moisture ants and carpenter ants are also classified as “wood-infesting” organisms because of their fondness for infesting wood.
How Do I Identify the Velvety Tree Ants?
The appearance of velvety tree ants is distinguished by their hue, which can be described as reddish-brownish or velvety-black. Their heads and bodies are almost the same sizes, but in comparison to other ant species, their mandibles are significantly larger.
The appearance of velvety tree ants is quite similar to that of other leafcutter or fungus-growing ants; however, velvety tree ants can be differentiated from these other species by the absence of hairs on the thorax and by their longer antennae.
Where Do Velvety Tree Ants Nest?
Nests of velvety tree ants can frequently be discovered in the crevices and hollows of trees, as well as behind stones, which serve as their natural home. Nesting sites for velvety tree ants can be found in oaks, sycamores, cottonwoods, or pines, but it all depends on the region.
Infestations in structures seem similar to those caused by carpenter ants, but the material that is excavated has a finer grain. Nests of velvety tree ants are typically constructed within the bends and hollows of trees when they are located outside. In addition to this, they will build their nests in logs, tree stumps, and fallen trees.
The velvety tree ants do not consume the wood in which they construct their nests. When velvety tree ants are looking for food outside, they frequently find their way inside, where they then make the decision to nest. As a result of these ants’ high need for moisture, their nests are always found in the dampest parts of a house.
Their preferred location to nest within is in wall cavities close to pipes that drip water. The woodlands of the southwestern United States are the natural habitat of velvety tree ants. They form colonies that can number in the thousands, and they will take over any place that affords them refuge or access to food supplies such as aphids if either of those things is present.
Nesting is one of the most recognizable characteristics of velvety tree ants. The majority of the time, they will construct their nests in decaying logs or tree stumps, although occasionally they will do so under stones or other items on the ground.
How To Get Rid of Velvety Tree Ants?
If you want to permanently get rid of a velvety tree ant colony, it is imperative that you correctly identify the ants that are causing the problem and locate their nest (or nests). At @pestclue, we provide complete services for the control of pests, one of which is a thorough evaluation of the property.
When you get in touch with us, we will do a comprehensive inspection of the property to determine the species of ant you are dealing with as well as the severity of the infestation. In addition, we will discover entry sites and identify the circumstances within or around your facility that are luring the pests in.
The eradication of velvety tree ants can either be done by contacting a professional pest control service or by doing it yourself, and the method used will depend on the degree of the infestation.
Before beginning any kind of treatment, you need to do an assessment to figure out how severe the problem is and how extensive the invasion is.
Read also: Do Carpenter Bees Sting?
- Make use of ant bait to bring the ants out into the open where you can then kill them.
- Apply ant spray directly to the locations where the ants are entering their nest.
- Infested regions and the areas around the bases of trees where they nest should be treated with an ant-killing powder.
How Dangerous are Velvety Tree Ants?
Velvety tree ants are hostile, and they will attack and spray intruders with secretions that are similar to those produced by odorous house ants. Velvety tree ants are found in tropical and subtropical regions.
Infestations of velvety tree ants are notorious for producing pungent scents, which homeowners frequently find objectionable. These ants are experts at gnawing on wood and have a particular fondness for insulation, which sometimes contains frass or wood shavings in the form of little heaps.
Note: Velvety tree ants are quite tame and do not pose any threat to human health. They pose a greater threat to the trees than they do to your insulation.
How to Prevent Velvety Tree Ant Infestation?
- Seal around windows and doors with weather-stripping.
- The external doors should have door sweeps installed.
- Clean up your property by removing fallen trees as well as any unnecessary woodpiles you may have.
- Fix broken or dripping pipes and fixtures.
- Dehumidifiers are a great way to keep your home dry.
- Garbage bin and compost bin lid locks are a must for outside storage.
- Until garbage day, keep all trash in tightly sealed containers.
- Keep crumbs and spills to a minimum in the kitchen and pantry.
- Refrigerate food rather than putting it out on a counter or table.
- Pick up any unconsumed pet food.
Read also: What Do Carpenter Ants Eat?
Most Importantly: Remove Wood From Your House!
Nests of velvety ants can typically be seen in the ground beneath rocks, in decaying woodpiles or tree stumps, or in stacks of firewood that have not been adequately dried off.
Move or store these objects in a location that is not close to your home to prevent velvety tree ants from becoming enticed to infest your property. You can deflect their attention away from your house by placing alluring nesting places in a location that is not adjacent to your dwelling.
Tip-Off: Does a Velvety Tree Ant Bite?
The velvety tree ant is neither a poisonous nor venomous species. They have the ability to sting, but they won’t do it unless they are coerced or feel threatened. They won’t bother you if you just let them be; they’ll keep to themselves if you leave them alone (most of the time).
Thank you for reading!