Black ants are a group of ants that can be found in nearly every corner of the world. So, if you have a black ant problem, you’re not alone! This article will cover how to get rid of black ants, as well as provide you other helpful information about these tiny pests.
First, let’s understand why they have entered your home in the first place. Black ants are foraging animals. This means they leave their nests to scout for food. Once they have found a food source, they carry it back to their nests to share with the rest of the colony. In the process, they leave behind chemical trails (also called pheromone trails) which tell other ants where they can find the food. With all of this in mind, let’s see how we can get rid of them.
How to get rid of black ants? The first thing you need to do in order to get rid of the black ants is to cut off any access they have with food in your home. After that erase the remaining pheromone trails and apply the insecticide treatment. There are many different insecticide products for ants but the most effective ones are certainly ant baits. Ant bait contains a substance that is attractive to ants in combination with a toxic one. The individual ants bring the bait back to their nest and pass the poison on to the rest of the colony. After some time, the ant bait will cause the extinction of the whole black ant’s colony. Lastly, consider setting up ant baits around your house. The time span in which you can get rid of the black ants depends on the severity of the situation.
If you discover any food that has ants crawling on it, toss it out. Ants can transmit diseases by simply coming into contact with food this is why it is important not to take ants lightly. They are a pest and you should get rid of them as soon as possible.
Are all black ants the same? How much of a threat are black ants to your home? What about infestations in particular areas of your home, or in your car? In the following section, we are going to give you the answers to these questions and provide you a bulletproof step by step guide on how to get rid of the black ants. Let’s begin!
What Are Black Ants? | Black Ants in House
Types of Black Ants
Black ants are a group of ants. This group can be found all over the world and when people say black ants, it is usually one of the following:
• Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants are larger than most other black ants. They can reach up to a half of an inch (12mm) long. Contrary to popular belief, carpenter ants don’t eat wood, they use it to build their nests. When left untreated, a carpenter ant infestation can cause structural damage to your home.
• Acrobat ants
Acrobat ants are common in the eastern United States. They got their name from their unusual ability to bend their abdomens up over their heads. You’ll see this scorpion-like behavior when acrobat ants feel threatened and are ready to sting.
• Little Black Ants
Little black ants can be found all over North America and are smaller than other black ant species. You can recognize them by their shiny shell.
• Common Black Ants
Common black ants are well dispersed around the planet. They are found in North America, Asia, Europe and Australia. Also known as black garden ants.
How Long Do Black Ants Live?
On average, black ant workers live for about 4 years. Depending on the species, black ant queens can live between 15 and 30 years.
Can Black Ants Damage My House?
While most kinds of black ants cannot cause damage to your home, carpenter ants are the exception. An untreated carpenter ant problem will lead to serious damage to wood structures in your home, often inside your walls. If you suspect a carpenter ant infestation, act quickly before it ends up costing serious money in repairs.
Are All Big Black Ants Carpenter Ants?
Not all big black ants are carpenter ants. Carpenter ants have a uniquely-shaped head, which appears heart-shaped when viewed from above (the tip of the “heart” leads to the mouth, and the two rounded bumps lead to the thorax). If this is not the case, it is likely that you are looking at a common black ant, which is another larger than average species of ants.
What Are the Tiny Black Ants Called?
If you see tiny black ants in your home, you are likely dealing with a species commonly known as the little black ant. Their scientific name is Monomorium minimum. They can be identified by their two bumps (or nodes) on the thin space connecting the thorax and abdomen.
Black Ants With Wings
If you see black ants with wings, it is likely that they are female carpenter ants. However, it is important to know the difference between winged ants and termites. Termites can be even more destructive to your home, and they require a different pest control method.
To tell the difference, get a close look at their wings. Both female carpenter ants and termites have two sets of wings on each side of their bodies. However, female carpenter ants have larger wings in the front and smaller wings in the back, while termites have four wings of equal size.
Black Ant Eggs
Black ant eggs are tiny, oblong, and white or off-white in color. They are laid inside the ants’ nests, which is typically located underground. One exception is the carpenter ant, which will lay its eggs inside cracks of the wood.
Black Ant Bites: Do Black Ants Bite?
Some black ants will bite or sting if they feel threatened. This is why it is important to talk about their bites.
What Do Black Ant Bites Look Like?
Black ant bites will appear as round, red marks with a raised center. They may appear as a single bite or a series of bites, depending on how long the ant remained on your body and the aggressiveness of the ant species.
Black Ant Bite Symptoms
Black ant bites are typically painful and itchy. They can also lead to swelling and hives in the affected area. Ant bites can also lead to more serious issues, such as infection. Rarely, ant bites can cause anaphylactic shock, which can be a life-threatening condition.
Symptoms of anaphylactic shock include shortness of breath, swelling of the throat or face, dizziness, stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and even loss of consciousness. If you observe any of these symptoms, contact emergency medical help immediately.
Do Black Ant Bites Itch?
Black ant bites can be very itchy. However, it’s important not to scratch the bite or the area around it. Scratching will tear the skin. Harmful bacteria on your fingertips and fingernails will enter the wound, causing an infection.
Black Ant Bite Treatment
There are a number of ant bite and ant sting treatments available, many of which you may already have at home. If you get bitten, wash the area thoroughly with soap and water. To ease the pain, apply a cold compress to the affected area. You could also apply hydrocortisone cream to reduce the itching. To avoid or treat an allergic reaction to the bite, you may also want to take an oral antihistamine.
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How to Get Rid of Black Ants – Step by Step Instructions
There are many methods that can be used to get rid of the ants. We are not going to mention every method, we are going to focus on what works and what is available to everyone. So in order to get rid of black ants quickly and effectively follow our detailed step by step guide.
Step 1: Make Sure All Food in Your Home Is Stored Properly
You can kill every ant in your home today, but if you don’t store your food properly, they will be back again tomorrow. Start in your kitchen. Look through your pantry. If you suspect that ants have been crawling on any of your food, dispose of it. Ants can transmit diseases such as salmonella simply by crawling over your food. Any opened food should be stored in sealed glass or plastic containers and if possible, store products in your refrigerator.
Pet bowls should be cleaned after your pet eats, as pet food crumbs will also attract ants. Once your food is stored properly, check the outside of the containers to ensure no food residue has stuck to the outside. Your last step will be to bring your garbage outside. This will ensure that food waste will not continue to attract ants to your home.
Step 2: Wipe Down All Hard Surfaces
This includes countertops, tables, sinks, shelves, and floors. Use a 50% water, 50% vinegar solution. The vinegar will erase any pheromone trails. Just don’t use vinegar on natural stone or unfinished wood surfaces.
Step 3: Vacuum Your Home
Vacuum your home thoroughly, including upholstered furniture. Use a nozzle attachment to reach into the cracks of couches and chairs. This step is important to ensure that no crumbs are left behind, giving ants a reason to return to your home.
Step 4: Set up Ant Bait
Your last step is to set up an ant bait in your home. Although you’ve gotten rid of the ants you can see, it is likely that you’ll find more ants scouting your home in the coming days. Ant bait is an effective way to kill the entire ant colony, even if you don’t know exactly where it is.
Set up ant bait around the likely entry points to your home. The ants will carry the bait back to their nest and share it with the rest of the colony. Eventually, the entire nest will be destroyed. Ant bait can be purchase for indoor or outdoor use. See the recommended products in the following section.
How to Kill Black Ants? | Best Ant Killer Products
There are a number of products available that can help you manage your black ant problem. Here are a few of the best products available on the market.
- Kills the ants you see and the ones you don’t
- Ready to use set the bait, attract ants, and kill the colony
- Stay fresh tab keeps liquid bait fresh until opened
These liquid ant baits have been around for years and are known for their effectiveness and affordability. Simply place the bait around the inside of your home, and be patient. It won’t be long before your ant problem disappears.
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- How does Optigard Ant Bait Gel work? Ants that feed on the gel...
This ant bait is a bait designed for outdoor and indoor use, making it ideal for those who can’t stand to see another ant roaming around their home.
- Residual kill of ants and roaches works for up to four weeks.
- Leaves behind no lingering chemical odor
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This is not a bait but an ant killer spray and it is perfect for killing ants on contact and leaving a pleasant scent behind (don’t inhale it). While this product won’t prevent new ants from entering your home, it’s a great quick-fix for the ants that are already there.
Black Ant Infestations in Specific Places in the House: What Should You Do?
How to Get Rid of Black Ants in Kitchen
The kitchen is the most common place for black ant infestations. From food in pantries to crumbs on countertops, your kitchen is a hot spot for these pests. That’s why the key to getting rid of ants in your kitchen is to keep it absolutely clean.
In addition, place ant baits inside cabinets and drawers to ensure that any ants scouting for food will find the bait instead. Water is another reason why ants might be drawn to your kitchen. Ensure that you don’t leave spilled water in your kitchen, and ensure that any leaky pipes are repaired.
Black Ants in Bathroom
If you have black ants in your bathroom, you can be certain they’ve located a source of water. Check around your bathtub and under your sink for any standing water. Keep these areas dry at all times, even if it means immediately wiping up the water droplets after you take the shower. Remember that ants are small and even tiny sources of water can be enough to sustain them. If the problem persists, you can also place ant bait in your bathroom.
How to Get Rid of Black Ants in Bedroom
- If you have ants in your bedroom, start by stripping your bed and washing your sheets and blankets at the warmest temperature that the fabric can handle. This will kill the ants and ensure that your bedding is clean.
- Next, check your mattress and box spring. Vacuum up any ants with a nozzle attachment.
- Next, vacuum the floors in your bedroom thoroughly. Any hard surfaces (with the exception of natural stone and unfinished wood) should be wiped down with half vinegar, half water mixture.
- This will erase any pheromone trails that are leading ants to your bedroom. Ant bait may also be placed in the bedroom as well.
How to Get Rid of Black Ants in Car: Instructions
Ants in your car can be a real pain and a dangerous distraction. Follow these five simple steps to get rid of black ants in your car.
Step 1: Move Your Car
Before you get to work, repark your car somewhere else. It is likely that your car has been parked close to an ant nest and the ants decided to scout for food in your vehicle. Moving it will ensure that more ants don’t enter your car.
Step 2: Vacuum Your Car Thoroughly
The purpose of vacuuming your car is twofold. You will suck up ants as well as any food crumbs that brought them there in the first place. Pay deep attention to cracks and crevices where ants and crumbs could be hiding. Also, remove any trash from your car. Small amounts of food residue from products are enough to cause an ant infestation in your car.
Step 3: Wipe Down Any Smooth Surfaces in Your Car’s Interior
This will ensure that any sugary drink spills are cleaned up, and catch any remaining crumbs.
Step 4: Wash the Outside of Your Car
You could do this by yourself at home or take your car to a car wash, or have it even professionally cleaned. Just don’t forget to wash under the car and around the wheel wells.
Step 5: Pesticides
The type of pesticide you use will depend on the magnitude of your problem as well as how much time you have.
- Ant Bait – If you always park your car in the same place, consider using ant baits. As mentioned above, it is likely that your car infestation came from a nest located near your car. Placing ant bait in your car will ensure that any additional ants who wander inside will only be bringing poison back to their nest, eventually killing the whole colony.
- Ant spray is effective in killing ants, but you should be really careful when using it in an enclosed area such as your car. Be sure to keep the windows open while using it and leave the windows open for as long as possible afterwards. Also, be mindful of spraying surfaces that will later be touched by children or pets.
- Foggers can be used in cars but should be a last resort since they can be messy and time-consuming. If you decide to use a fogger, be sure to later air out your car for at least 6 hours. To clear the fumes out of your car’s ventilation system, run the climate control for at least 15 minutes.
Home Remedies for Black Ants | How to Get Rid of Black Ants Naturally
If you want to take a greener route to an ant-free home, here are a few things you can try.
Diatomaceous earth is an all-natural substance made of tiny fossilized organisms found in the ocean. You can find it at your local hardware or gardening store. Diatomaceous earth kills ants quickly by drying them out.
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Sprinkle it where you typically see ants entering your home. Just wear a mask during the application, as inhaling too much of it can irritate your lungs.
Dish Soap and Water
Mix up a simple solution of one-part dish soap and three-parts water. Fill it into a spray bottle and spray it directly onto the ants. The solution will stick to the ants and suffocate them. The solution will also keep surfaces clean and help remove the pheromone trails.
Cinnamon is a natural ant deterrent and it will kill ants on contact. Simply sprinkle cinnamon around the areas where ants are entering your home, or directly on the ants themselves.
How to Prevent Black Ants From Invading Your House
The best way to deal with black ants is to prevent them from invading your home in the first place. These prevention measures go a long way and will ensure that these pests stay outside where they belong.
Black ants will enter your home through the tiniest of cracks. Poor sealing around doors and windows are the most common entry point. Check the area around each door and window of your house. Re-caulk any areas that are cracked or missing.
Form a Barrier Around Your Home
Perimeter ant bait works similar to regular ant bait but can be placed around the outside of your home. Any ants scouting for food will stop at the perimeter of your home, believing they’ve found the perfect meal. They’ll carry the bait back to the nest and within a short period of time, any ant colonies near your home will be wiped out.
Take Out the Trash Regularly
Taking your garbage out regularly will remove any food waste that would otherwise attract black ants to your home. Be sure to wipe out the inside of your garbage can as well, removing any food residue that may be clinging to the sides.
Clean Dishes and Counter Tops After Cooking
It’s tempting to leave the dirty dinner dishes until tomorrow. But doing so will only make your home more attractive to ants. Likewise, wipe down countertops after preparing food to ensure no crumbs or spills are left behind.
Black ant infestations are common in just about every corner of the world. Luckily, there is something you can do. Keep your home as clean as possible, and take advantage of effective pest control products. Your black ant problem will be under control in no time.
If you are dealing with a larger infestation then consider hiring professional exterminators. The most important thing to do is to act fast as ants and pests in general spread very fast.
Hopefully, our guide has helped you deal with your black ant problem in the house and for more pest-related content please keep following our site!
List of Sources
Merchant M., Identifying Household Ants, Texas AgriLife Extension Service
Alsharani, M., Alanazi, M., & Alsalamah, M. (2009), Black ant stings caused by Pachycondyla sennaarensis: a significant health hazard, Annals of Saudi medicine
Monomorium minimum, Mississippi State University
Carpenter Ants: Insect & Disease Fact Sheets, Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
Controlling Ants in the Home and Landscape, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida