Little Black Ants

Image via flickr by dbgg1979

If you have an ant infestation in your kitchen, little black ants are a common culprit. Learn more about these insects, so you’ll know if this is what’s invading your home.

What Are Little Black Ants?

Little black ants are a common type of ant found in and around many American homes. If you see a trail of small dark-colored ants marching through your home, you likely have this species in the house. Learn more about little black ants so you can adequately identify and exterminate them.

What Do Little Black Ants Look Like?

Little black ants are just as they sound. These tiny insects measure only 1/16 inch in length. They’re usually jet-black, though they can appear in shades of dark brown as well. Little black ants have a shiny appearance when examined up close.

Where Do Little Black Ants Live?

You can find little black ants throughout the United States. They’re most common in the eastern and southern regions of the country. These ants prefer wooded areas, but they will also nest beneath rocks, logs, lumber, and bricks in suburban areas. When they nest in the soil, you’ll see a small crater of dirt around the opening.

As heat and humidity rise, little black ants will begin looking for a more comfortable place to nest; this is often inside your home. When they nest in the house, they will typically take up residence behind facades, under the carpet, or in wall voids. Due to their small size, they may also live in masonry or woodwork.

Little black ant colonies can contain many queens, making it more difficult to wipe them out. It takes just ten days for eggs from these ants to hatch. When the nest is disturbed, the colony will relocate.

Problems With Little Black Ants

Little black ants have a stinger, but it’s so small that it’s not effective against humans. The biggest problem with these insects is their ability to get into homes and their willingness to eat nearly anything they can find. These ants have strong jaws they can use to gather food. However, they can’t chew with them. Instead, they will feed on the liquid. Little black ants prefer honeydew from insects like aphids and mealybugs. However, they do not discriminate. They’re willing to consume most human foods.

One of the most apparent signs of an infestation is the telltale trail that little black ants will follow to their food source. If you see a visible line of ants marching through the home, you either have an infestation inside the house or somewhere outside that’s very close by.

The best way to address an issue with little black ants is to seek help from an experienced exterminator. Since these ants have many queens and will readily relocate when bothered, you need to take a thorough approach to eradicate them from home.

Pest Control Solutions for Little Black Ants

A knowledgeable exterminator can help you get rid of little black ants in the home. The first step is confirming the identity of these ants. Many ant species look similar, and you won’t be successful exterminating the pests if you misidentify them. Each ant species has its preferences with regard to food. It’s essential to cater to this so you can place ant bait that the insects in your home will happily consume.

Baiting is typically the best way to get rid of little black ants. The bait should be placed along the ants’ foraging trail so they will find the food and take it back to the nest. Your exterminator will also help you identify points of entry that are allowing the ants into the home. We can look for ant amenities that you might be offering as well, like food and water sources you weren’t aware of.

Deter little black ants from returning to your home by taking smart preventive measures. Keep firewood and lumber at least 20 feet from the house, so they’re not encouraged to nest nearby. Make sure plants and shrubbery around the home are well-maintained and trimmed back. Inspect your home for gaps and cracks. Seal these with a silicone-based caulk for the best protection against these tiny pests.

Make sure all the food in your kitchen is stored in sealed containers. Never leave scraps sitting out. Be mindful of where you keep your trash as well. Place outdoor trash cans away from the exterior of the home, and make sure they have tight-fitting lids.

Other Little Black Ants Facts

Little black ants are a nuisance pest. They don’t do significant harm, but they are an annoying disturbance in your home. Outside the house, however, these ants can be a fascinating insect to observe. Little black ants are strong and hardy, making a home for themselves nearly anywhere they can find the resources they need to survive.

They’re Very Strong

Like most ants, little black ants can carry substantial objects in relation to their body size. A single ant can lift items 20 times its body weight.

They Stay Busy

Little black ants are active both during the day and the night. You can see the workers moving about at nearly any hour. During the night, as temperatures drop, they move eggs and larvae further underground.

Summer is Swarming Time

From June to August, you’re likely to see small flying ants. These swarmers grow wings so they can leave the nest and seek mates. After mating, the females will break off to form new colonies. When you see swarming little black ants, it typically means a nearby colony has grown too large and is now splitting off into new colonies.

Working with an exterminator can provide a quick solution if you have little black ants in your home. We’ll help you clear up the problem and take the necessary steps to prevent it from recurring again in the future.

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