Thatching Ant

Actual Size: 4 to 8 mm

Characteristics: Stocky with large heads and powerful jaws. Most are bi-colored, red and black, but some are all black.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Reproductives have wings.

Habitat: Create large mounds that could be 1-2 meters across and ½ meter high.


  • Build some of the largest nest mounds.
  • Are known to be aggressive and may bite when defending their nest.
  • Get their name from building mounds that appear to have “thatched” roofs.


Thatching Ants in your area

Thatching ants are large, stocky ants with powerful jaws and large heads. Their name is derived from their habit of creating large mounds that appear to be thatched like a roof. While thatching ants tend to construct their nests out of stems and pine needles, they may also nest in decayed logs, housing thousands of ants for years. These ants primarily feed off of various insects including beetles, caterpillars, and moths. It’s also not uncommon to see several thatching ants struggling to bring a still-alive prey into their nest.

Thatching Ant Habitat

Commonly known as mound ants, thatching ants are notorious for constructing nests comprised of forest debris. Their mounds are distinguishable, large, and can be quite an eyesore for homeowners who find them on their property. When thatching ants aren’t in their constructed nest mounds, you can typically find them living in decomposing trees or soil.

Thatching Ant Behavior, Threats, or Dangers

Thatching ants are beneficial pests in the wild as they catch and feed on huge quantities of other insects. They also feed on the remains of larger dead animals. The way they burrow when building their nests is also helpful in that it aerates the soil and promotes water absorption. While thatching ants have a positive impact, you will want to keep your distance. These tiny pests are aggressive and will deliver painful bites, producing blisters on yourself or your pets. Furthermore, thatching ants also destroy the buds of fruit trees and devastate plants and seedlings. If you notice thatching ants or nests on your property, it’s best to contact a professional ant exterminator.