Moisture ant is a term used to classify several species of ants that are drawn to damp environments. Their habit of building nests in wood causes them to be mistaken for carpenter ants. Keeping these pests out of your home starts with correctly identifying them. We’ve gathered information about moisture ants to help you identify and eliminate an infestation.
How Do You Identify Moisture Ants?
Ants in the genus Lasius are often grouped into the moisture ant category. These ants range in size from 4-4.5mm. They are sometimes referred to as yellow ants due to the yellowish-brown color of their body. This feature also helps to separate them from other species of wood-nesting ants.
A well-known moisture ant species is the citronella ant. They get their name from the lemon scent that’s released when they’re crushed. Cornfield ants are another species of moisture ants and despite their name can be found in homes and yards. Moisture ants feed on honeydew from aphids.
Where Do Moisture Ants Build Nests?
Moisture ants are attracted to damp environments and they’ll nest indoors or outside. They use wet wood and soil to build nests that are called cartons. When building a nest outside, they prefer to live under rocks or in rotting logs. They’ve also been known to nest near the foundation of homes.
Moisture ants are opportunists and they’ll seek out areas with wet wood including your home’s structure. They’re commonly found in bathrooms and basements, but they will travel to wherever they can find suitable wood. Spotting soil or sawdust like material—frass—is one warning sign of an infestation.
Are Moisture Ants Dangerous?
These ants won’t infest wood that isn’t already damaged. However, their tunneling can cause wood to decay at a faster rate. This can lead to structural damage or cause further damage that will need to be addressed.
Spotting moisture ants can actually be a warning sign of other problems including plumbing leaks or other wood-damaging pests like carpenter ants or termites. These ants aren’t known to bite or sting, so the main concern is the possibility of serious structural damage.
How Do You Prevent Moisture Ants?
The best way to keep moisture ants away from your home is eliminating any potential nesting sites. Check your home for leaking pipes and make sure wood in moisture-heavy areas, including bathrooms, is in good condition.
Examine your yard for any rotting or water-damaged wood. Since moisture ants feed on honeydew, you’ll also want to ensure that there aren’t any aphids running around your garden. Eliminating their source of food will deter moisture ants from hanging out near your home.
You can also treat the perimeter of your yard with a natural insecticide spray like our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective™ Yard Bug Spray. Not only will this kills ants on contact, it also creates a protective barrier that will help keep pests away.
How Do You Get Rid of Moisture Ants?
If the nest is harder to track down, using a natural bait, like our No Spill Ant Kill or Ant Killer Bait, is a great option. Our bait is designed to allow ants to feed on the bait and return to the nest to share with others. This will help to eliminate the entire colony and not just the ants you see. To help ensure ants won’t return, you’ll want to repair the damaged wood.
To effectively fight a pest problem, you have to know what bug you’re up against. That’s why we’ve gathered information to help you identify moisture ants. If pests are invading your home, we have your back! Check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Pest Control products for a more environmentally and family-friendly solution.