Did come home or wake up to hundreds of tiny critters uniformly marching in a line to you kitchen, pet food bowl, or restroom?
No need to panic -
there is a solution!
Hot, humid weather creates the perfect storm for persistent ants to head into your home in search for food and water. The endless clusters of them may seem unstoppable but there is an effective way to combat them.
But first, let’s learn a little bit about these unwelcomed guests.
Who are these guys? And What Are They Doing In My House?
Little black ants can come in a variety of colors ranging from dark-brown, black and jet black. They can be found throughout the United States, including the southern half of California and in the San Francisco Bay area.
Just like their name, they are about 2mm in length and have two nodes on its pedicel. The little black ants are very similar in appearance to Pharaoh ants except for its darker coloration.
Where Are They Coming From?
Almost all little black ant colonies originate from an outside dark covering. Tree stumps and piles of wood and bricks are common nesting areas for this type of pest. Once inside, they can be found in wall voids, underneath the edge of carpet or t-mold, cabinets, or masonry.
Don’t be deceived if the problem has progressed and it appears the ants are coming in from all around – the infestation originates from one source. The source will be found in one of the nesting areas mentioned above. The next step is to find this location by tracking the ant trail(s) using some professional techniques.
Our previous blog post covers in detail how ant trails are formed and typical pathways they take to get to food sources.
Be One With The Ants…Or At Least Know How To Follow A Trail
Following a clearly defined trail of hundreds of ants may not seem difficult; but, when you add breaks in the line, obstructions, coverings, or multiple trails – it can get tricky. To successfully track, follow the ant trail in the opposite direction that the majority of the ants are headed.
If there are multiple trails, this may take more time, but you will eventually find their home. It’s similar to solving a maze puzzle: Start with one route and if you come to a dead end, start from another route.
When you have followed the trail outdoors, removing grass or vegetation from the foundation, driveways, and sidewalks will be beneficial to continuing the hunt. Hidden trails can be found this way. Also, consider raking any vegetation or mulch around trees and shrubs. Ant colonies can be found underneath anything that is in contact with the soil – including sprinkler heads.
The most common nesting area for little black ants is tree stumps, dead wood or piles of items (bricks or stones). If located within a tree, the ants could be traveling up and down the trunk to a dead limb or hole high up – accessing this location may be difficult. Having a tree company prune any dead branches can remove the current ant colony and prevent any future ones from occurring.
If you still can’t find the nest, there still are methods for controlling the ant problem. Place baits near trail entrances into your home. This can attract many more ants for a couple of days before they start to subside. The baits will be collected by the ants and taken back to the nest to feed the rest of the colony. How’s that for a little bit of trickery?
Hooray, You Found The Ant Nest!
Now that you know where the hundreds of ants that were in your home are residing, you can take them out in one fell swoop. Use residual insecticide on and around the nest. As a preventative measure, applying treatment around the perimeter of your living space can prevent other pest problems from occurring.
Continually monitoring pest activity around your property and even plugging up entrances that you saw the ant trails use can make for a solid pest prevention plan.
A Shorter Summary Of Eliminating Little Black Ants
Just in case you zapped through the above looking for an easy-as-ABC control process, I have provided some quick bullet points. However, please note that the above provides very useful details (and some really cool images) for eliminating your ant problem.
- What Are Little Black Ants? A 2mm ant that can be black, jet-black, or dark brown found throughout all of the United States. They are very common in Southern California.
- Where Are They Coming From? Common nesting place for little black ants are tree stumps and piles of wood and bricks. Foraging ants located inside can be found in wall voids, underneath the edge of carpet or t-mold, cabinets, or masonry.
- How Can I Locate The Source? By using tracking techniques you can follow the ant trail in the opposite direction to find their nest. Smashing the visible ones in your home is a temporary fix, the nest has hundreds to thousands more that will invade. Find the ant’s nest to resolve the infestation.
- What Treatment Do I Use For The Ants? Spraying the nesting location with residual insecticide should eliminate the problem. Also, creating a barrier of treatment around your home is a good preventative technique.
If you have any other questions or comments, please leave them in the comment section below. Good luck and happy ant trail hunting!
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