Little Black Ant Control: Protect Your Home

Appearance

What Do Little Black Ants Look Like?
Size: Extremely miniscule, little black ants range in size from 1/10 to 1/8 of an inch. They are monomorphic, which means the colony workers are all the same size.

Color: As their name implies, little black ants are black in color.

Characteristics: All ants have a head, thorax, and abdomen. They also have segmented antennae and a petiole, which consists of one or two nodes, which is situated between the thorax and abdomen. Workers are wingless, while queens and reproductive ants each typically have many wings.

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Facts

  • Aggressive: Despite their tiny size, little black ants are very aggressive and will often assert their dominance over much larger insects in order to maintain access to food sources.
  • Damage: While they rarely travel indoors, they wreak havoc on residential lawns and public parks.
  • Species: Though only one ant species is officially known within the scientific community as the little black ant, many other types of ants fit the general description. Other species often confused with tiny black ants include the odorous house ant (Tapinoma sessile), the crazy ant (Paratrechina longicornis), and the black carpenter ant (Camponotus pennsylvanicus).

Food

What Do Little Black Ants Eat?
Honeydew is the primary source of nutrients for ants.

Most species are omnivorous and will also eat:

  • Dead insects
  • Spiders
  • Fruit
  • Some fungi
  • Trash

Biology

Colonies
Winged females establish new colonies, usually after overwintering, by producing an initial brood of workers.

Life Cycle
She will tend to these eggs and the nest until the workers mature, at which point they become responsible for raising any new young and maintaining the colony.

Ants develop through complete metamorphosis from eggs to larvae to pupae to adults. All eggs produced in the spring and early summer become workers.

During late summer, colonies start producing winged ants capable of reproduction. At the onset of cold weather, the reproductives mate and then find suitable locations to overwinter (though nests inside can remain active all year). Once winter dissipates, the cycle repeats.

Lifespan
Worker ants typically live four to six months, while queens may live as long as a year.

Detection

Sighting
The most apparent sign of a little black ant infestation is spotting the adult ants traveling to and from food sources or nests.

Look for adult ants crawling up trees and traveling along pavement to a food source.

Ant Mounds
Infested lawns may also feature mounds of dirt that materialize as the ants colonize the area.

Swarms
Swarms of winged ants looking for new nest locations will appear in the late summer and signal an infestation problem as well.

Problems Caused by Little Black Ants

Little black ants themselves are rarely problematic; they do not typically bite, spread disease, or even seek food indoors.

  • Nests: The issues linked to their presence are mostly cosmetic, as their nests frequently crop up in lawns.
  • Food: Occasionally, they will be attracted to crumbs and spilled substances indoors.

Prevention Tips

To keep little black ants out of the house, residents should eliminate possible entrances and sources of food.

Since this particular ant species is so tiny, it is especially important to:

  • Seal cracks around windowsills and doors.
  • Replace broken screens.
  • Caulk cracks in the building foundation.
  • Spills should be cleaned up immediately to avoid enticing ants inside.
  • Foodstuffs should be stored in tightly sealed containers.

Read more ant prevention tips.

Tips for Removal from Home

Vacuum
If an adult ant is spotted inside the home, thoroughly vacuuming can eliminate the problem.

Consult the Experts
In cases of larger infestations, homeowners should seek professional help. Pest control specialists have the necessary knowledge to identify the invading species of ant and treat the problem accordingly.

Additionally, professionals have the tools and experience to help homeowners set up prevention plans to avoid future infestations.

Learn more about Western’s comprehensive Home Pest Control Plans.

Call for service: (877) 250-3857