Thatching Ant


Actual Size: 4 to 8 mm

Characteristics: Large heads and powerful jaws. Most are bi-colored – both red and 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 biggest ant 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 Houston, TX

Thatching ants are large, stocky-looking ants. Sometimes referred to as mound ants, thatching ants construct mounds from small sticks, grass stems, leaves, and pine or fir needles. They may also nest in decayed logs and colonies can persist for years and can contain thousands of individuals. Feeding on various insects they catch, hatching ants eat caterpillars, small beetles, dead moths, and other insects. They have also been witnessed carrying live prey into the tunnels of their mounds.

Thatching Ant Habitat

Popularly known as mound ants, thatching ants are notorious for building mounds composed of various yard debris such as sticks, stems, pine needles, and more. The mounds they construct are visibly distinguishable and can cause an eyesore for homeowners dealing with an infestation. When they aren’t nesting in the mounds they have constructed, you can typically find them living in decomposing trees or soil.

Thatching Ant Behavior, Threats, or Dangers

Overall, thatching ants have a positive effect on the ecosystem as they are efficient at eliminating harmful insects. However, when thatching ants infest homes and yards they can cause problems for homeowners. Aggressive ants that deliver a painful bite, thatching ant bites can cause blisters to humans and household pets as they tend to spray the bitten area with formic acid. Furthermore, they also destroy the buds of fruit trees and devastate plants as well as tree seedlings. If you notice thatching ants building a mound in or near your property, it’s best to contact a professional ant exterminator.