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Thief Ants: The Ultimate Guide

Thief ants are a type of ant that belongs to the genus Solenopsis. They are small, sneaky ants that are found all over the world. In this guide, we will delve into the world of thief ants, including their physical characteristics, behavior, habitat, and more.

Physical Characteristics

Thief ants are small, with a body length of about 1/16 to 1/8 inch. They have a slender, segmented body and six legs. They are typically yellow or brown in color and are often covered in small, hairy spines. Thief ants are easily distinguished from other types of ants by their small size and their habit of stealing food from other ants.


Thief ants are active during the day and are most often seen in gardens, parks, and other outdoor areas. They are known for their sneaky behavior and are often found stealing food from other ants.

Thief ants are social insects and live in large colonies, which are usually headed by a queen ant. The queen ant is responsible for laying eggs and producing offspring, while the worker ants are responsible for foraging for food, caring for the young, and maintaining the nest.

Thief ants have a complex social structure and communicate with each other using a series of dances and pheromones. They work together to defend the nest and protect the colony from predators.


Thief ants are found all over the world and can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, fields, and gardens. They prefer to live in warm, humid environments and are often found near sources of food.

In the wild, thief ants can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, fields, and gardens. They are also known to hide in homes and other buildings, where they can build nests in walls, floors, and ceilings.


Thief ants are small, sneaky ants that are found all over the world. They are known for their habit of stealing food from other ants and their sneaky behavior. Although they can be annoying to some people, thief ants are generally not aggressive and will only attack if they feel threatened. If you spot a thief ant in your home or elsewhere, it is important to use caution and avoid disturbing it. If you have a thief ant infestation in your home, it is important to contact a pest control professional to help eliminate the problem.

Thief Ants

Thief ants are distributed through DC, Maryland and Virginia, as well as the rest of the United States. Their name is derived from the habit of some of the species that nest close to other, larger ants, of entering the neighboring ants' nest to steal food and prey upon brood. Because they are so often mistaken for other ants, their significance as pests is often discounted. Some types of thief ants have polygyne (multiple queen) colonies, and some mated females may return to the nest after their nuptial flight. Mating flights take place in late July to early fall. Colonies may contain hundreds to a few thousand ants. Outdoors, nests are found in exposed soil, under rocks, or in rotting wood. Indoors, they nest in woodwork and masonry. They may use electric wires in wall voids to move from one room to another.

Thief ants are omnivorous. They prey upon fire ant queens, and other insects, and can prevent the re-establishment of incipient fire ant colonies. Occasionally, they are responsible for injury to sprouting seeds and vegetables, and are believed to hollow out seeds for their oil content. Because they feed on dead rats and mice, they can also carry disease-producing organisms to food. They may also be an intermediate host for poultry tapeworms.

Thief ant workers are monomorphic and small, measuring only 1.5 to 2 mm long. Depending on the specific species, their body color can range from brown to yellow. Thief ants have a two-segmented pedicel. Their antennae are 10-segmented with a two-segmented club. Thief ants are often confused with Pharaoh ants.

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