Moisture ants generally speed up the normal decaying process of wood, but other than that, these ants are harmless, but often mistakenly thought to be wood destructive ants. One thing about these ants that can be useful to a homeowner is their activity provides an indication of wood decay where they are active, and signals a problem that needs to be addressed. In their winged swarmer form, moisture ants somewhat resemble termites, so always make sure to contact termite specialist for an accurate identification. Their tendency to nest in wood mimics the behavior of carpenter ants.Moisture ants are common from the Pacific Northwest
Where do they nest?
Outdoors, they often nest under rocks or logs. They sometimes nest above the ground in rotting logs. Moisture ants feed on honeydew. The workers get honeydew from aphids and scale insects that feed on plant roots. Moisture ants often tend aphids to collect the honeydew that they produce. Some moisture ant colonies make their nests against the foundation of homes. When colonies are under slabs, the ants often push soil up through cracks in the concrete while they are digging galleries underneath. When this soil appears in basement floors, it can cause distress for the homeowners. Many people mistake this soil for a sign of termite activity.
Prefer moisture damage
When moisture ants move indoors, they often nest in wood that is moisture damaged. They frequently find damaged wood in areas like bath traps. They sometimes nest inside walls where there is a plumbing leak. There have been cases of these ants nesting in damp soil in crawlspaces. In these situations, the workers made mounds of excavated soil in the crawl space.
If the ants have nested in damp or damaged wood, correcting the moisture problem and replacing the wood will be a priority. In damp or humid areas, treated wood may be a good replacement.
Do Moisture Ants Fly?
Moisture ant is a common name that most frequently includes ants in the genus Lasius. The only members of a moisture ant colony that fly are the female and males who participate in mating swarms.
Each colony has a single queen that generates the colony’s members. Mating occurs when winged males and females, called swarmers, swarm from the colony in the summer. Mated females go on to found new colonies.
If winged ants have swarmed inside the home, remove them with a vacuum cleaner. Empty the vacuum bag promptly and take it outside to the trash. It is sometimes hard to tell whether winged insects are ants or termites. Call the local pest control professional for an inspection and identification.