Velvety Tree Ant

Liometopum spp.

Velvety tree ant

Velvety tree ant (April Nobile,

Velvety tree ant

Velvety tree ants (David Stephens,

American Cockroach

Close-up of a velvety tree ant (April Nobile,


  • brownish black head; yellowish red thorax; velvety black abdomen
  • single node
  • abdomen covered in very fine hairs
  • workers of many sizes
  • appear similar to carpenter ant
  • evenly rounded thorax

Nesting Habits

  • usually associated with hollows of trees, stumps and logs 
  • build temporary nests indoors for foraging
  • nest in wall voids and areas with high moisture such as water leaks
  • under loose bark and rocks 
  • in/under insulation


  • other insects
  • honeydew produced by aphids, mealybugs or scales
  • scavenge on dead animals
  • partial to sweets


  • aggressive; inflict a painful bite and spray secretions onto intruders when disturbed
  • damage insulation and wood by tunneling 
  • workers/foragers may enter structures
  • structural infestations result in a foul-smelling odor

IPM Recommendations

  • Trim back tree branches and shrubs that come into contact with the building.
  • Seal all exterior cracks and holes to prevent workers from entering. 
  • Repair water leaks and maintain proper ventilation of the surrounding area.
  • Replace severely damaged wood.
  • Ant baits may be necessary. 

Additional Resources:

IPM for Ants: Integrated Pest Management in Sensitive Environments (University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension)