Learning how to get rid of black ants in your house can seem like a daunting task.
These formidable pests are frustrating to say the least- but fortunately with a bit of persistence, you can quickly remove them from your home.
For starters you’ll need to understand exactly what black ants are and how they got inside in the first place.
Then, your tactics will depend on whether you prefer to use natural or chemical-based remedies to eliminate them.
There are several types of black-colored ants that might appear in your home but the most common are often referred to as little black ants.
At just 1/16” in size, it is one of the smallest of all ants species, as you might expect.
They're found throughout the United States in large numbers and their colonies can be extremely large and contain dozens of queens.
Luckily, these ants don’t pose a direct threat to humans.
Although they have stingers, they tend to be very small and weak.
However, they do have the potential to spread diseases and contaminate food as they feed and wander about your house.
Typically, black ants are found in the house in the summertime, usually from June through August.
They come indoors in search of food.
Black ants feed on items like grease, meats, fruits, oil and vegetables.
They also eat things like insects, plant secretions, and honeydew, though these are less likely to attract ants into your house compared to food crumbs and spills.
In the wild, black ants live outdoors and are common in wooded areas.
Here, they nest beneath rocks, in rotting logs, and in other organic matter.
Fortunately, if you want to get rid of black ants you don't always have to turn to pesticides and harsh chemicals.
Here are some natural ways you can get rid of black ants in the house that work really well, and it's easy!
Conduct A Thorough Inspection Of Your Home
The first thing you should do to get rid of black ants is to root out their potential entry points.
This inspection may also tell you where the nest is.
Kitchens and bathrooms tend to be the most common places for ant nests, but that’s not always the case.
Sometimes the nest will be located outdoors, with ants coming back and forth inside each day.
Use a flashlight to look behind and underneath appliances like your dishwasher, refrigerator, and oven.
Often you can follow an ant trail from the bathroom or kitchen directly to the nest.
If possible do your inspection at night, since this is when ant activity tends to be at its peak.
If you can’t find the foraging trail, entice them by leaving out food.
Once you’ve found the ant trail you may be surprised to see it actually leads outdoors, where nests are often built under firewood piles, yard debris, or even beneath your home’s siding.
Remove Food Sources
Once you’ve pinpointed the nest or the source of entry, get rid of any food sources that are inviting ants indoors.
Having an ant problem does not mean that your home is dirty.
Ants are attracted indoors by even the smallest amount of food.
Get rid of any food spills and caked-on food.
Another common culprit when it comes to attracting ants is your pets food bowl.
Remove any source of food as well as water (such as leaky pipes) to prevent ants from thinking your home is an all-you-can-eat buffet.
Seal Up Entry Points
Next, you should take some time to seal up any entry points.
You should be able to follow the ant trail to the place where they got inside.
Often, this is a window with a broken or cracked seal, but it could also be a rip in a screen or a gap around your home’s siding.
Seal up any potential entry points and remember that ants are industrious little workers that can utilize the smallest of gaps and cracks to get indoors!
Use A Natural Treatment To Remove The Ants
There are a few items that you may have lying around your house that can be used to repel and get rid of black ants naturally.
In most cases, you just have to sprinkle a small amount of these products on or near an ant trail.
Just remember that ants are smart and will catch on quickly to your antics - after a while, they’ll start avoiding the old trail and you will need to change up your strategy!
Ants are stubborn creatures, and often they can’t be eliminated by natural methods alone.
If that’s the case, you’ll need to rely on a chemical product like a bait or spray.
Ant baits can be purchased in various forms, including liquids, gels, granules, and solids.
These contain an active ingredient pesticide (such as borax, fipronil, avermectin or indoxacarb) along with a carbohydrate, sugar, or protein.
The former of these kills the ant while the latter entices them to visit your trap.
Baits are specifically designed for ants because they act slowly and take advantage of the ant’s unique societal structure.
A worker ant will find the bait when he’s out foraging for food and will bring it back to the nest.
Here, all of the other ants will have a field day, chowing down on the food before they realize that it’s poison.
You can also use an ant spray.
Sprays aren’t quite as effective as baits because ants tend to avoid the line of fire when you spray.
Choose a non-repellent insecticide spray, which will be designed and uniquely formulated so that the ants can’t smell it and avoid it.
Ideally, the ants will walk through the insecticide and bring it back to the nest to eliminate the entire colony.
A product like Ortho's Home Defense works great on ants and a lot of other indoor pests.
Simply spray it around the exterior foundation of your home, windows, and doorways as a line of defense against ants.
You can also spray it indoors along your baseboards or other problem areas where you've noticed ants.
If you're having serious infestation of ants, spiders, crickets or other common household pest where natural remedies just won't do the trick, I highly recommend Ortho's Home Defense.
It's an amazing product!
The best way to get rid of black ants is to keep them from coming indoors in the first place.
The tips above should help you get rid of these pests and keep them out in the future.
However, if that doesn’t work there’s no harm in contacting a licensed pest control professional.
While most ant infestations are minor and don’t warrant the expense of pest control services, having a pro take a look at your situation may give you the peace of mind you need to get through the problem and prevent it from recurring in the future!