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Solenopsis molesta

Thief Ant

Size: One of the smallest ants found infesting buildings, measuring less than 1/16-inch in length.
Color: Golden-yellow.

Because of the thief ant’s size and color, it is often confused with the pharaoh ant which is a bit larger. Thief ants have only 10 segments in their antenna and the antennae end in a two-segmented club. Pharaoh ants have 12 antennal segments and a three-segmented club.

Thief ants derive their name from their habit of locating their colonies close to those of other ants to steal that ant’s food and even capture and eat the other ant’s eggs and larvae. Colonies are usually small and are difficult to find. In homes, trails are often seen in bathrooms and kitchens and in and around windows where the ants can find moisture and food.

This ant will nest in soil, in wood, in voids, and in just about any suitable location. Finding the nests is extremely difficult.

Tips for Control
Thief ants can be difficult to control. Often they are mistaken for Pharaoh ants; unfortunately, the baits used to control that ant may not be effective for thief ants. Thief ants tend to prefer foods with higher protein and fat content. The experience of a professional with access to a number of different ant baits is likely to achieve better results.