Black Ants crawling on the empty dish in the kitchen

Little black ants are one of the smallest pest ant species in Canada. 

 

Why are little black ants a problem?

Little black ants enter homes and businesses in large numbers, sometimes by the thousands. The tiny ants can get into sealed food containers and packaging and contaminate food items.

 

What do little black ants look like?

Little black ants are aptly named for their size and appearance. Key characteristics:

  • Size: 1.5 to 2.2 mm or about 1/16 inch
  • Colour range: dark brown to jet black
  • Distinguishing features: shiny appearance; noticeable foraging trails

 

What should I know about little black ants?

To get rid of little black ants, it helps to know how they live and behave:

  • A colony of little black ants has multiple queens and contains up to several thousand workers. Typically, the ants nest outdoors. They prefer wooded habitats, and nests are commonly found in dark, protected places. Little black ants come indoors for food, water and shelter.
  • Little black ants eat a wide variety of food. Outdoors, they feed on insects, plant secretions, pollen and sweet honeydew, which is made from plant sap by aphid, mealybug and scale insects. They also eat bird feces and may kill hatchling birds. Indoors, little black ants are attracted to sweets, meats, cooking grease, oils, bread, cornmeal, fruits and fruit juices.
  • Little black ants make visible trails from their nest to a food source and back. The well-defined trails may cover a long distance. It often is possible to follow the trail of worker ants back to the nest. Get tips for how to follow ant trails.

Little black ants are a native ant species in Canada.

 

Where are little black ants found indoors?

Indoors, little black ants are found in kitchens and bathrooms. They trail along countertops, baseboards and carpet edges, and in cupboards and pantries.

The ants will nest in walls, cabinets, foundation masonry, behind brick or stone veneer and in cracks and crevices.

Winged little black ants may appear near windows in late summer during mating season.

 

Where are little black ants found outdoors?

Little black ants primarily nest outdoors in tree stumps, trees, logs, fence posts, mulch, under stones, and in piles of lumber, brush or bricks. They also are found in lawns and gardens.

Trails of little black ants can be located along sidewalks and foundation walls.

 

How do the little black ants get in the house?

Little black ants get into homes and business through cracks in foundations, gaps in caulk around windows and doors, and holes where wires and pipes enter the structure. The ants may have multiple trails coming into the building at the same time.

In commercial buildings, little black ants may enter through cracks in concrete slab floors.

Read our expert guide: How to Keep Ants Out.

 

What are the best DIY ant killers for little black ants?

To eliminate little black ants, use a combination of pest control products:

 

Ant stations – Ant stations (also known as insect bait stations) are filled with an insecticide bait. Foraging ants take bait back to the colony where it is shared among the workers, larvae (baby ants) and queen. Ant traps, also called ant bait stations, can be used indoors and outdoors. Place traps where the ants are trailing and near nests. Learn more about ant stations, insecticide baits and how to use them.

 

Ant repellents – Available as aerosols, foam, sprays and organic sprays, these products kill ants on contact and are most effective when applied directly to the little black ant nest. Drench outdoor nests with liquid repellent. Use an aerosol or foam to kill ants nesting in the wall. Repellent sprays also create a defensive barrier that the ants will not cross.

 

Diatomaceous Earth – Often called DE ant powder or DE ant dust, this natural desiccant kills ants by drying them out. Apply it to indoor areas where ants are active, such as in cracks and crevices and wall voids where plumbing and wiring penetrate walls. The ants walk through the DE, which scratches the waxy outer layer of their exoskeleton. This causes the ant to dry out and die. DE will not kill the colony, but it will reduce the number of foraging ants. Learn more about DE and how to apply it.

 

 Also read:

5 Steps to Get Rid of Ants for Good

7 Common Ant Pests in Canada

How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants

How to Inspect for Ants

How to Follow Ant Trails

The Best DIY Ant Killers in Canada

How to Keep Ants Out

How to Get Rid of Ants Outside

 

 

Innovative Pest Control Products

The Ant Café (48/Bag)

Regular Price
$40.00
Sale Price
$40.00
Regular Price
Unit Price
Translation missing: en.general.accessibility.unit_price_separator 
Shop this product

Kness

Ants-No-More Ant Bait Station

Regular Price
from $4.50
Sale Price
from $4.50
Regular Price
Unit Price
Translation missing: en.general.accessibility.unit_price_separator 
Shop this product

Upper Canada Organic Products

Orange Guard Home Pest Control

Regular Price
from $25.00
Sale Price
from $25.00
Regular Price
$0.00
Unit Price
Translation missing: en.general.accessibility.unit_price_separator 
Shop this product