Moisture Ants

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Moisture ants are wood invaders that are drawn to high-moisture areas. These ants typically build their sponge-like nests in decaying logs or stumps, though they may also construct a home in soil. Moisture ants primarily feed on sweet materials, and even keep aphids, which are small insects known for producing a sweet substance called honeydew. Though moisture ants are not a primary structural pest, they can cause damage to wood. However, these ants are more widely known as a nuisance for invading kitchens in search of food.

 Size 1/8″
 Characteristics Yellow to dark brown.
 Legs 6
 Antennae Yes
Wings  Swarmers or reproductives have wings.
Habitat Nests in damp or decaying wood, either indoors or outdoors.
Habits
  • Releases a citrus-like odor when crushed.
  • Primarily builds nests in damp or rotting wood.
  • Requires moisture to survive, which is where they get their common name.
Moisture Ants in the Pacific Northwest As their name implies, moisture ants are known for nesting in high-moisture areas. These ants typically build their nests in wet or damp wood, such as decaying logs or stumps. While moisture ants are not a main structural pest, they can quicken the deterioration of wood, which can weaken the structural integrity of homes or buildings over time. Since moisture ants feed on sweet materials, they can also become a nuisance to homeowners if they come inside looking for food.
Moisture Ant Habitat These ants require moisture to survive, so they are drawn to wet and damp areas. Outdoors, these ants often inhabit moist areas such as rotting wood or soil. Their nest consists of elaborate mud tubes, which resemble a sea sponge placed between the wood and the ground. These nests are often mistaken for subterranean termite mud tubes, but the moisture ant’s nests generally have more defined shapes. If indoors, moisture ants typically invade damp areas or spaces with moisture problems. Basements, crawlspaces, or behind walls are popular hiding places for these ants.
Moisture Ant Behaviors, Threats, and Dangers Though moisture ants can bite, they are not aggressive and their bite is usually painless. These ants are mainly a nuisance because they can damage wood and invade kitchens to feed on sweet materials. Since moisture ants are drawn to wet environments, their presence can also be a sign of a moisture problem – such as a plumbing fixture or roof leak. Moisture ants leave behind sponge-like nests and swarm in the spring, which are two telltale signs that you may be facing an infestation. If you suspect moisture ants are invading your property, call a professional ant exterminator today to remove these pests before their colony can grow and spread.