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Velvety Tree Ant

Need to get rid of velvety tree ants? Read on to learn the answers to all of your important questions. Need help? Call our professionals today to get started.

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What Are Velvety Tree Ants?

There are more than 12,000 species of ants in the world and over 700 of these species make the United States their home. The most common ants that you can find in your home are red imported fire ants, carpenter ants, crazy ants, acrobat ants, pharaoh ants, odorous house ants, leaf-cutting ants, rover ants, and pavement ants. 

Of the more than 700 ant species in the United States, there are between 20 to 25 structurally invasive pest species in the U.S. Of these species, only a few are categorized as wood-infesting organisms. Velvety tree ants, along with moisture ants and carpenter ants, are a few species of wood-infesting, structurally invasive pests. 

What Do Velvety Tree Ants Look Like?

Velvety tree ants get their name from the fact that their abdomens are covered with many hairs. Velvety tree ants are about 1/4 of an inch long with a red-brown head and thorax and a velvety black abdomen. Because of this, and because they look and act like carpenter ants, they can often be confused with carpenter ants and sometimes even odorous house ants. 

What Are Velvety Tree Ant Behaviors?

Velvety tree ants make shallow nests in the soil under fallen logs or inside trees, which is where the “tree ant” portion of their name is derived. They can be found in oaks, sycamores, cottonwoods, and pines. Inside, velvety tree ant infestations closely resemble the damage done by carpenter ants, but the excavated material, as well as their frass (feces), is a much finer material. 

Like carpenter ants, velvety tree ants are known for their wood destruction and the fact that they carve out tunnels and nests in wood. Velvety tree ants give off a distinct odor when crushed, and the worker ants will also give off an odor if they feel the colony or nest is being threatened. 

Are Velvety Tree Ants Dangerous?

Velvety tree ants do not bite or sting, and while they can eat food in your pantry, they are not known to infest your food sources. Velvety tree ants are, however, responsible for much damage to the wood interiors and structural elements of your home if allowed to nest inside. Additionally, though they don’t bite or sting, they are aggressive in other ways, mainly they will attack and spray any threat to their nests with an odorous secretion. 

Homeowners often complain of the smell of velvety tree ant infestations. If you find signs of velvety tree ants in your home like small piles of frass or wood shavings or are noticing a strange smell, call a professional ant exterminator to take care of your issue.

Help With Velvety Tree Ants

If you are concerned about velvety tree ants in or around your home, please give us a call or fill out the form on this page. is a team of experts who are highly qualified to provide the best recommendations for you and your home, no matter which part of the United States you live in.

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The creator of this review received compensation by RMICPA, LLC on behalf of Terminix®. This review is the opinion of its creator and its claims are not endorsed or evaluated by RMICPA, LLC.

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