Little black ants are common insect pests within and around homes throughout the eastern and southern US. This species sees workers invade homes from outside nests in order to access human food sources, particularly greasy foods and sweets. Unfortunately, eliminating little black ant infestations within homes can be relatively difficult due to the excessively small size of foraging workers, and many infestations see the pests establish indoor nesting sites within hard-to-access areas, such as wall voids, masonry, beneath carpeting, and even within woodwork. Due to the little black ant’s ability to nest within, and adapt to, a variety of different environmental conditions, heavy infestations see these ants establish a presence in every room of a home where they seem to nestle within all visible indoor cracks, crevices, nooks and crannies.
Little black ants have a shiny black exterior and adults grow to only 1 ½ mm, or 1/16 of an inch in body length. While experts know little about this soil-nesting ant pest species, including the time of year in which winged alates take flight from colonies, if they even do, it is clear that they prefer to nest in open areas of residential yards, as well as beneath stones, bricks, wood and logs. Experts believe that little black ant queens establish indoor nesting sites, and colony nests are commonly found within indoor woodwork. These ants are also pests of stored food items, as workers are most visible to residents of infested homes when the pests invade kitchen cupboards and pantries.
Most little black ant infestations within and around homes in the northeast are not extensive, and pest control professionals usually eliminate infestations with conservative amounts of insecticide solution and baits. However, locating all nests within and around homes is often the most difficult aspect of little black ant control, and when nests become established in wall voids, it is necessary to inject aerosol insecticide into cracks and other entry points on exterior and interior walls.
Have you ever spotted a trail of ants entering your home from an outside nesting location?