Are The Little Black Ants In My Suffolk Kitchen Dangerous?
May 15, 2022
An often misidentified ant pest that gets into Suffolk homes is the little black ant. When these ants appear, they're commonly mistaken for black carpenter ants, which are extremely destructive, structure-infesting pests. But you don't need to fear little black ants. They won't damage your home. The biggest concern with these ants is the mobile transport of harmful bacteria from your trash to your stored foods. This can lead to stomach illnesses. The important thing you need to know about little black ants is how to tell them apart from black carpenter ants.
Little Black Ant Identification
If you see little black ants in your kitchen, you may be concerned you have a carpenter ant problem. Here's how you know what kind of ant you're dealing with:
- Size: Black carpenter ants are big black ants. Workers are around ⅛ of an inch long, which is pretty large compared to other ant pests, including the 1/16 inch worker ants of a little black ant colony. When we get called to look at little black ants in a home, we're not surprised to find that they are, in fact, little black ants. Calls for carpenter ants usually include the words "big black ants," which leaves little doubt about what type of ants we will encounter on that service visit.
- Winged Ants: If you find black ants with wings, it could add to your confusion about which ants you have in your home. The alates (winged ants) of an ant colony are much bigger than the workers. Winged little black ants are about ⅛ of an inch long. This is the size of worker ants in a carpenter ant colony. But keep in mind that winged carpenter ants will be around ⅝ of an inch long. That is a lot bigger.
- Waist: If you still have trouble figuring out which of these two ants you have, you can look at the waist. But first, you'll need to catch an ant. A piece of sticky tape can help you grab one, or two, or three. Once you have a specimen to examine, look between the thorax and abdomen. A carpenter ant will have one node. A little black ant will have two nodes.
If you're struggling to determine the kind of ant in your home, reach out to a local pest control expert.
Little Black Ant Problems
When these little ants get into your home, they can cause big problems. Here are a few reasons why:
- A little black ant colony can have more than one queen. If you spray little black worker ants, the colony may split into two or more colonies. This can make your problem worse.
- Little black ants can establish a nest in wall voids, masonry, woodwork, and decaying wood. This can cause you to see these ants appearing right after you kill a bunch of them in your kitchen.
- Little black ants can find many food options inside your home, such as oil and grease or fruits and vegetables.
- A typical colony can have around 2,000 workers in it. If a nest is inside your home, it won't take long for those workers to mobilize in large numbers.
Tips To Keep Ants Out Of Your Suffolk Home
There are a few ways to manage these invaders and reduce how frustrating they will be:
- Keep your kitchen as clean as possible. This will give them less incentive to come out of hiding. Be sure to do a routine deep cleaning of your oven and other appliances.
- Fix leaky faucets and weeping pipes. These ants are drawn to moisture.
- Consider putting your stored foods in sealed containers.
- Move wood sources away from the exterior of your home to reduce ant populations. While these ants don't chew on wood, they are drawn to crawl around on wood in search of food.
- Use a caulking gun to seal up gaps, cracks, and holes in your exterior walls. Replace or repair damaged weatherstripping and door sweeps. Make sure all of your screens are in good working condition.
Despite your best efforts to keep ants out, you still may find yourself dealing with an ant problem. In the end, it's best to partner with your local ant control company.
Professional Ant Control With HomeTown Pest Control
While little black ants aren't dangerous, they can be very frustrating if they keep getting into your home. If you need assistance keeping these irritating ants out of your Suffolk home, contact HomeTown Pest Control. As a local, family-owned and operated Suffolk pest control company, we understand the community, local area pests, and we pride ourselves on providing expert, comprehensive pest control. We can provide one-time services or year-round pest protection for your home. Reach out to us today to schedule your inspection. We'll let you know what pest pressures you have around your home and guide you toward a plan that is right for your specific needs and budget.
You don't have to put up with those little black ants anymore. Instead, call on the experts at HomeTown Pest Control.