- Latin Name: Lasius spp.
- Size: Workers are usually about 4-4.5mm long. The queen is substantially larger.
- Color: Many workers are yellow in color although some species are brown or black.
- Shape: Traditional ant shape with an enlarged thorax. Moisture ants have two long antennae to seek out food and predators.
- Found in: Anywhere with a high concentration of moisture and rotting wood, specifically in Washington and humid southern states like Florida and Louisiana.
- Overview: Moisture ants are attracted to areas where they can build nests out of high-moisture content materials. Because most are yellow in color they’re often mistakenly referred to as “Yellow Ants.”
About Moisture Ants
Moisture ants get their name from their propensity to built nests in high-moisture areas. There are dozens of species within the Moisture Ant family, the most common of which is the Citronella Ant which releases a lemon-like scent when crushed. Because these ants are cold-tolerant they can survive throughout the U.S. but are namely found in the Pacific Northwest, the Northeast, and the Southeast.
Because they feed on the honeydew of other pests, Moisture Ants tend to live near the roots of plants these pests feed on. They like to set up shop under rocks, stumps, and even within rotting logs to ensure they get plenty of moisture. Reproduction occurs in the spring as workers swarm from colony to colony which is when you’re most likely to see increased ant activity.
Signs of a Bigheaded Ant Infestation
Because they are constantly seeking moisture, Moisture Ants will move indoors when the conditions are right. This typically occurs when they burrow up through the soil into the foundation of a home which leaves a tell-tale sign of soil residue behind. Unfortunately many homeowners mistake these as a sign of a termite issue and attempt at-home treatment that is unsuccessful.
Moisture Ants will not live where there is not sufficient moisture so if you find them inside your home you can bet you’ve got a moisture problem that needs attention. These pests have been found in the aftermath of plumbing leaks and even inside crawlspaces with higher-than-average moisture readings. If a pest professional confirms you have an indoor moisture ant problem you should likely contact a contractor to seek out underlying moisture issues.
A professional exterminator is the best way to efficiently get rid of a moisture ant infestation quickly. Because colonies can split you may have more than one infestation site to be dealt with and over-the-counter ant products can be less than effective.