Moisture ant is the name that people use to describe ants that nest in damp areas. Moisture ants often nest inside of wood that is decaying. Sometimes the workers bring moisture to the nest and cause the wood decay to get worse. Many times, the ants use wood that has been damaged by termites. The ants move in and clean out the galleries.
There are several types of ants that people refer to as “moisture ants”. One that is very common is the yellow ant. There are several yellow ant species. They are members of the genus Acanthomyops.
Many people use the name “moisture ant” for an ant that is also known as the cornfield ant. This is a dark ant, reddish brown to black.
Moisture ants nest in damp areas. Outdoors, they nest in the soil under shrubbery or mulch in flowerbeds. They usually feed on honeydew. The workers gather the honeydew from aphids that feed on plant roots.
Moisture ants often enter homes through cracks in the foundation or through crawl spaces. If there is decaying wood, they move into it and use it as a nesting site. Indoors, they often nest in wall voids in damp or humid areas. Bath traps, laundry rooms, and walls near showers are places where moisture ants are commonly found. They are also often found in basements and crawl spaces.
Homeowners who find moisture ants often think that the ants have caused structural damage to their home. In most cases, the dampness and the decay were there before the ants arrived.
Getting rid of the ants begins with solving the moisture problem. It may be necessary to increase the ventilation in the crawlspace. A dehumidifier may help reduce the dampness in the basement. The decayed wood should be replaced at the same time. If the moisture condition will come back, many experts suggest using pressure treated wood in the re-construction.