Little Black Ants
Little Black Ants
Scientific Name: Monomorium minimum (Buckley)
Description: The black ant’s thorax lacks spines, and the petiole has two nodes. The abdomen is tipped by a small stinger. Each antenna ends in a three segmented club. The little black ant workers are 1/16-inch long. These characteristics also describe these two species is the jet black color of the little black ant.
Biology: Little is known about the biology of this species. The colonies have several queens and rapidly grow within a fairly short period of time. The winged reproductives typically swarm in late spring or early fall.
Habits: Little black ants are found throughout the United States. They nest beneath stones, in lawns, and in areas that lack vegetation. Their nests are easily located because they form small craters of fine soil at their entrances/ these ants also nest in rotting wood and behind the woodwork or masonry of structures. Indoors they can be found under the edge of carpeting, in old termite galleries, and in wall voids.
Little black ants like to feed on a variety of foods. They eat aphids as a source of honeydew, feed on meats or greases, and are predaceous on other insects. Indoors they feed on both greases and sweet foods.
Control: All cracks and gaps in exterior walls that provide access to voids and interior areas should be sealed. All debris from the exterior of the structure and other items on the ground where these ants can nest should be removed. Firewood should be stored off the ground.
Baits are very effective in controlling colonies. Baits should be placed where ant trails have been established and in locations where the ants have been sited. Unless using containerized baits indoors, they should be placed so that they are inaccessible to children and pets. Sweet baits are the most effective; however, if acceptance is low, a protein bait should be considered.
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