Black house ants are tiny black ants that are among the most common types of insects you can find in a household. Many types of ants can invade a home: carpenter, pharaoh, odorous, sugar and black. There are three casts into which ants are divided: worker, males and queens. Like all ants, black ants are very intelligent and they can be problematic when your house becomes infested. People can have a hard time dealing with a black ant infestation because these insects do not give up easily. Along with red ants, black ants are the dominant species of ants in the United States.
Identify Black House Ants
The average individual may have difficulties differentiating between different species of ants. The workers are small, having a size of a sixteenth part of an inch and the queens are double the side of the workers. These insects have two nodes on the petiole and are made of twelve segments, with a club of three segments. Black ants are two to three millimeters long and they usually build their nests underground, in decaying wood or under bark. They can often build nests in the roof of a house, but also in wall spaces. Their trails can go up to the trunk of the trees as they can also feed honey-dew from certain insects. Black ants have a black shiny appearance.
What Attracts Black Ants into Your Home?
Just like other creatures in this world, black house ants are attracted to your home because they are looking for shelter, food and water. For this reason, the first targets will be your kitchen and your bathroom. Black ants are attracted to the meats, the vegetables and especially the sweets in your kitchen. When they rest, ants can withdraw in wall spaces and in the roof of the house.
What Do Black Ants Eat and How Do They Behave?
Black ants enjoy the food spills that you may have in the kitchen, but they mostly feed on sweet foods. Ant queens live longer than workers and they have a period of time that is dedicated to mating and producing offspring. Once this happens, they do not mate again. Females and males leave the nest when they mate and this can expose them to predators. Black ants are not only very smart, but also very hard-working. Black ants seem to be more docile than red ants. They are social creatures and live in colonies.
Do Black Ants Bite Humans?
Black house ants can bite and the feeling you have when you are bitten is like a small pinch. Because the insects are very small, you may not even feel them crawling over you and you may not be aware of their presence until they bite. No mark is left on the skin after the bite. It seems that workers gathering food are not biting, but the ones that do guarding work are. Black ants are not as aggressive as red ants.
How to Deal with a Black Ant Infestation?
The first thing that you can do is to remove any possible source of food, shelter and water from the areas that are exposed to ants. Black ants often build their nests near food sources. If you want to prevent an infestation, you should always keep your home clean and dry. You may even have to move the furniture from time to time, for properly cleaning your entire house and minimizing the probability of black ants to establish their colony inside your home. Sealing your home is needed, because ants can use doors and windows to enter your home. Check your house entrances for cracks and seal them. The house becomes an unfavorable place for black ants as soon as you remove food sources.
Natural Solutions for Black Ant Control
Before you start to take control measures, make sure that you know exactly where the ants come from, then fill all the cracks and remove all the debris that could be used by ants to take shelter. A natural and very cheap way to get rid of black ants can be the use of bay leaves. Place bay leaves where you see ants: corners, windows, cabinets and entry points. Mint is another natural solution and is very effective. You can use live mint (planted strategically), gathered mint or mint oil. A third solution can be red chili pepper in dust form. It can also work if you make a paste from it using water.
Using Baits Against Black Ants
Black ants have a specific track that they move on when they gather food and store it. Their movement is very predictable, so you can use baits successfully. Baits are easy to find in stores and they are effective methods of repelling ants. Baits do not eliminate ants instantly, but this can be used to your advantage. The infected ants return to the colony, where they infect other ants. In the end, the whole colony may die. The baits are used on the scent trails (tracks).
The Use of Ant Sprays
Spray use can be another convenient method of dealing with a black ant infestation. All you need to do is mix the substance, put in a sprayer and spray the insects until they are gone. You can use the spray directly on colonies and nests, even in your yard. Many of the sprays you get from stores can be good for residual control over the insects once the spraying is over.
The Use of Poisons for Black Ants
Because black house ant infestations are so common, finding the right type of poison for these insects is easy. You can find poisons in store or online. Poison can be used in the cracks that black ants use as entry points to your house. There are aerosols and insecticides that can be poisonous to black house ants.
Using Heat and Water for Black Ants Population Control
Did you know that there is a simple method for getting rid of black house ants easily? This method involves heat, but not directly. If you try to burn the ants, you could end up burning items from the home and you may start a fire. Instead, you can boil water and pour it while it is still very hot inside the colony. Ants are hydrophobic animals, meaning that they are afraid of water and especially of floods. You will use a deadly combination in this way: heat and water (boiled water). Entire colonies can be eliminated using this method, including the queens.
Using Residential Pest Control Services Against Black House Ants
In the case that you don’t want to deal with the problem on your own, the best approach is to call an ant exterminator. This is a company that provides pest control services and ant extermination services for residences where there are ant infestations. Such a company can use more powerful solutions than the ones you can have at home or that you can find in stores. It can help you to permanently get rid of black house ants. When you deal with the problem yourself, sometimes you can achieve the opposite: ant colonies relocate but still get into your home.