The state of Utah is plagued by a number of ant species. One species that often gets confused with Carpenter Ants are the Velvety Tree Ant as both ant species like to live in decaying trees and wood. Velvety tree ants are a large ant species but are not quite as big as a carpenter. The velvety tree ant can be a year-round nuisance if they invade your home during the fall and build their nest inside your home before the winter cold has had the chance to trigger hibernation. Rentokil will share more about the velvety tree ant and how they can pose a problem for your home.
Velvety Tree Ant Identification
The velvety tree ant got their name due to their velvet-like abdomen. The velvety tree ant is mostly black in color. Their head and abdomen are black with an orange thorax. However, their color can vary. Some of the largest velvety tree ants can grow up to ¼ inch in length. The velvety tree ant is drawn to pine trees but will inhabit any species of tree. The velvety tree ant also releases an unpleasant odor if they get crushed, which alerts other workers that there was a problem or danger. The velvety tree ant isn’t an ant species that will sting. Rather they will bite and will defend the nest aggressively if necessary.
Where Do Velvety Tree Ants Live?
The velvety tree ant doesn’t just nest in trees but in the ground as well. They even nest under rocks or inside tree stumps or logs. Velvety tree ants are considered as having a larger colony population than other ant species. They will even create subcolonies where workers will work between two or four adjoining colonies. The velvety tree ant will feed on honeydew, nectar, and other smaller insects such as aphids. Since the velvety tree ant likes to live and feed in trees, they often use leaves or tree branches to crawl into homes and other buildings. If velvety tree ants get inside a home and begin using the inner walls for nesting grounds, they will hollow out sheetrock as well as the foam insulation for galleries and passageways. If the home’s wood framing is exposed to moisture or is damp, it will also burrow through damp wood.
Velvety Tree Ants Inspection
If you see velvety tree ant in your home you will want to begin controlling them by having your home inspected for the location of the nest. A pest inspector will look for damp decaying wood or other areas they use for nests. We will also inspect your yard to see if the colonies are based outside and these ants just travel inside for food. In order to control velvety tree ants, you will need to locate the nest. If they are coming in from outside the inspector will determine where so these breaches can be sealed. Often firewood stacks are the nest site of velvety tree ants. You will want to make sure your firewood is as far away from the house as possible.
After inspecting for velvety tree ants, the next step is applying a perimeter treatment around your home to prevent them from gaining access inside your residence. If you need help from a professional pest control company, contact Rentokil. We will protect your home and yard from velvety tree ants and other pests.
Velvety Tree Ant Identification in Lehi, UT; Inspections & Control Tips to Get Rid of Ants in Salt Lake County and Northern Utah
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