Monomorium minimum (Buckley)
The little black ant gets its common name from its very small size and black coloration. Colonies are moderate to very large and contain many queens.
Little black ant swarms are common from June to August, during which time they forage in trails and are frequently seen along sidewalks.
These small ants feed on grease, oil, meats, fruits, and vegetables materials such as corn meal and sweets. The workers also feed on other insects, honeydew and plant secretions.
Little black ants are common in wooded areas. In yards, they nest under rocks, in rotting logs, and under piles of bricks or lumber. Indoors, nests are located in woodwork, wall voids, decaying wood, masonry, and behind facades.
Although little black ants have a stinger, it is often too small and weak to be effective.
- Color: Dark brown to black; typically jet-black
- Legs: 6
- Shape: Pedicel, or ant waist, is two-segmented; Profile is unevenly rounded; thorax lacks spines
- Size: 1/16” (1.5-2mm)
- Antennae: Yes
- Region: Found throughout the United States, especially in the eastern region, in the southern half of California, and the San Francisco Bay area
Homeowners should consider working with a licensed pest professional to employ a preventative pest management plan. There are also a few things that can be done around the property to prevent a little black ant infestation.
Homeowners should seal cracks and crevices in exterior walls with a silicone-based caulk, ensure firewood is stored at least 20 feet away from the home, and keep shrubbery well trimmed. Location of the nest is also important. While it can be difficult to see these ants due to their small size, their nests can be found by following the trial of workers back to the colony.