The thatch ant is a small, black ant, typically about 1/16th of an inch long. They have a shiny, black body and their antennae are segmented. They get their name from the fact that they build their nests in the thatch of grasses and other plants. These nests are relatively large dirt mounds that can be up to 5 ft deep and 3 ft wide.
The best way to prevent thatch ants is to seal all cracks and openings in your foundation and exterior walls. Make sure there is no wood debris or other potential food sources near your home. If you see an ant trail, use a commercial ant killer or bait to eliminate the colony. Finally, keep your home and property well-maintained to discourage them from nesting there in the first place.
Trim back any shrubs or trees that come into contact with buildings. When plants touch a home or building they create an easy way for ants to crawl onto and access the building.
Seal all potential ant entryways. Common entry ways are around windows, doors, and utility lines.
Keep dry pet food in sealed bins and clean up any spills.
Try to locate and eliminate all nests by following ant trails from food source to the nest. This can be done by placing jelly or hot dogs in the yard, waiting 30 minutes to an hour, and then following the trailing ants back to their nest.
Use an insecticidal bait, especially during winter through early spring when populations are small. You can bait throughout the year but early spring leads to best results.
Simply “spraying” for thatch ants rarely gets control and leads to frustration. Baiting or baiting combined with a slow acting-non repellent along the foundation gets better results. Most products that you can buy at the store are not slow-acting or non-repellent.
Stay away from store bought “sprays” for argentine ants.
Controlling these ants is hard, so consider hiring a pest management professional to help.