WSU Extension


Wood-Destroying Pests
Carpenter ants
Deathwatch beetles (Anobiids)
Moisture ants
Powderpost beetles
Wood-rotting fungi

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Caption: Moisture ants
Photo by: Sharon Collman
Moisture ants
(revision date: 4/14/2021)

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful pest management.

Moisture ants are small ants (about 2/16 – 3/16 in length as workers). Color varies, but light yellowish-brown is the most common. They are largely nuisance pests in that they find their way into kitchens and feed on sweet materials including honeydew from aphids. They nest in damp rotting wood or in the soil. They do not nest in dry sound wood. They are actually an indicator of a prior problem, for example, wood-soil contact which sets up the ideal habitat for nesting. Mating swarms occur in late summer to early fall.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Prevent conditions conducive to infestations such as wet wood.
  • Avoid wood-soil contact.
  • Ensure good ventilation in crawl space (be sure a vapor barrier is in place).
  • Do not place woodpiles next to house.
  • Fix plumbing leaks.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

None recommended. If you have a moisture ant colony or problem contact a pest management professional.


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Caption: Moisture ants
Photo by: Sharon Collman