Moisture Ants

 

DESCRIPTION:

Moisture Ant workers are monomorphic and are about 1/16-1/8 inches long. Queens are about 1/4 inches long. There color range from brown to a very dark brown, almost approaching black. Compound eyes are large in relation to head size. Workers are capable of emitting a strong formic-acid odor.

 

DAMAGE:

External indication of infestation from moisture ants is usally indicated when there are is a presence of small openings on the surface of the wood. Here the workers will expel debris which consists of sawdust-like shavings and fragments of insulation and insect body parts. They prefer to a hollow out soften wood that is associated with moisture problems and fungus.

 

HABITS:

Inside structures, these moisture ants nest in areas of moist, rotting wood. They may bring moisture into the structure to increase the damage. The colony initially starts in areas of advanced wood decay. Mature nests in wall voids often fill the void between the studs with carton which looks like Swiss cheese except that it is brownish like the decayed wood. Inside, these ants usually feed on sweets, meats and insects.

 

BIOLOGY:

Mature colonies are moderate to large, apparently composed of up to several thousand workers and only one queen. If mounds are present, they range up to 8-10 inches in diameter. Developmental time ranges any where from 59 to 127 days. Reproductives are present in the colony from midsummer to autumn. Mating occurs in the nest before swarming happens. Swarming occurs July through September any may be composed of males and females. Queens burrow into a chamber and usually doesn’t lay any eggs until the following spring. Queens can live more than 10 years.

 

SCIENTIFIC NAME:

Lasius alienus

 

SECONDARY NAME:

Cornfield Ant