In this article, we talk about black ants and give tips on how to deal with them. In the second part, we present the top 10 means to combat these insects.
- Studying the enemy
- The best remedies for black ants
- Comparison table of ant remedies
- How to get rid of black ants in the house and in the apartment: an overview of evidence-based methods
- How to get rid of black ants in the country and in the garden
Studying the enemy
Scientists have discovered a huge number of ant species – more than 8,000. About a thousand more species are expected to be identified in the future. There are several types of dark brown or black ants that harm the human economy.
An important note: even ants living side by side with people sometimes perform useful functions. They clear the area of dead plant parts, promote the movement of matter in the soil and kill harmful insects. But, at the same time, they can harm living plants or support the population of aphids and mealybugs on the leaves. Once in the house of a person, some species spoil furniture and climb into food supplies. Finally, they are simply annoying and can ruin a picnic or even bite unpleasantly. Let’s consider these types in more detail. Here they are, all black ants:
Black garden ants – Lasius niger
A thunderstorm of gardeners, they build their anthills in the grass and feed on rotten fruits, especially love strawberries. Worker ants are black or dark brown in color and are 3-5 millimeters (⅛-3/16 in) long. The uterus of Lasius niger is extremely tenacious – the average life expectancy is 15 years, and some live up to 30! Anthills are built in the soil and under various objects: stones, wood, remnants of building materials, as well as in hollows and inside rotten wood. They feed on small insects and other invertebrates, aphids and other sweet foods. Aphids are bred on fruit trees and garden plants in order to receive honeydew from them. At the beginning of summer, new territories are explored in search of new sources of food. They can make their way through brickwork and cement, finding or creating new passages. This species is used by people for observation,
Carpenter Ants – Camponotus spp
Adult working individuals reach a size of 0.6-1.2 centimeters and are painted black or black with red. If they are disturbed, they begin to emit a specific smell. They feed on insects, aphids, fruit juice and other sweets. Carpenter ants are really unpleasant neighbors. They gnaw branched passages and galleries in dry wood where the colony lives. And from the outside, at first, their presence is imperceptible. We talked more about carpenter ants and how to get rid of them in a separate article.
Odorous house ants – Tapinoma sessile
Small black ants 3 mm long. The color varies from dark brown to brilliant black. They have an uneven chest and exude a strong odor when crushed. They feed on insects, aphids and sweet foods. Paths are laid along the branches of trees, the foundation and baseboards in the house, along communications, the edges of carpets. On the street they live in colonies in the soil under stones, a lying tree or garbage, and in apartments they build nests in the walls of houses, around water pipes and heat communications. Colonies are usually large, up to 10 thousand ants and with many queens. If ants have started up in the walls, entomologists advise spraying insecticides into the cracks. And, if you don’t know exactly where the nest is, use poisonous baits.
The worker ants are dark brown or black in color, 2 millimeters long, all the same size. They feed on sugary foods and insects, and can also crawl into fatty foods. They do not refuse animal food and prefer to gather food at night. Create anthills in turf, under rocks, wood or paving slabs, or create small mounds near water sources. There is one queen in the colony. Different colonies are at war with each other.
They are yellow and black shiny, 1.5 mm long. It is so named for its characteristic erratic and fast movements and the habit of sometimes not following the established route, scientists at the University of Florida explain. They have very long, compared to other species, antennae and limbs. They hunt insects or collect sweet honeydew from aphids and mealybugs. In the United States, the crazy ant is common from Florida to South Carolina and western Texas, but can appear in other states as well. Also common on other continents, including temperate climates, from New Zealand to Estonia. In some tropical regions they can breed all year round.
Little black ants
Very small ants, from 1-1.5 millimeters. Their presence can be identified by small craters in the ground. They often forage at a great distance from the colony, so they are often difficult to control. They live near trees or stone buildings and sometimes climb into the house. Unpretentious in food. The species is distributed in southern California and the San Francisco Bay Area. Species related to it are widespread throughout southeastern Canada, as well as the northern and eastern parts of the United States, south to the Pacific coast.
The best remedies for black ants
In accordance with the recommendations of scientists, we have selected ten remedies for black ant species that can cause trouble to the household.
A simple and well-known remedy is a strong slow-acting stomach poison. Worker ants bring this poisoned food to the anthill and share it with all their relatives, including the queen queen. The tool is used in the fight against insects, including ants. Sprayed through the entrance to the anthill.
Price: ~ 300 rubles
Sachet Raptor Protection against ants in granules
Non-toxic agent. The granules are safe for people and animals – an excellent remedy for black ants in the apartment. Sold in packages. Sprinkle the pellets in places where ants gather and migrate indoors.
Price: 196 rubles
Dohlox trap to kill ants
Home remedy for black ants is sold in a pack of six stations. The station with the bait is installed in the ground or on the surface. How it works: Give poison to a worker ant to do the same in the colony. The bait was highly appreciated by buyers. It can be bought in strips or in small stations.
Price: 290 rubles
Trap Raptor Express from ants and cockroaches
The gel is squeezed out of the syringe into a place accessible to the ants. It starts working within an hour. The first results will be visible after a few days. This product containing fipronil is safe for children according to the manufacturer.
Price: 320 rubles
Clove oil is not an insecticide, but it is also used to repel insects. The oil is diluted with plenty of water. Caution: Essential oils are dangerous for pets, especially cats, pregnant women and young children. Should not be used neat.
Price: 200 – 700 rubles
Comparative table of remedies for black ants
For processing buildings and plots
|~ 300 rub|
For processing buildings and plots
|Trap Raptor Express
For processing areas
|200 – 700 rubles|
How to get rid of black ants in the house and in the apartment: an overview of evidence-based methods
The University of California notes the importance of controlling the current situation.
Ants are attracted to places near food sources or damp areas. Ants can enter kitchens, bathrooms, offices or bedrooms. Check under the sink, in closets, and along pipes and electrical wires. Look for both a large ant trail and single ones. Scout ants move away from the rest in search of food or a place for a colony. If you spot a trail, follow the ants to where they enter the building or to the colony if possible. Look indoors and outdoors for foundations and walls for holes or cracks.
In simple words: in order not to have to spend energy and money on fighting an unwanted neighbor, it is worth increasing vigilance and preventing insects from entering the house. “Weak spots” must be eliminated: cracks, holes and openings in the foundation, walls and window frames, especially around incoming communications, should be repaired. Also removed are food remnants attractive to ants, especially sweets, garbage and stones, boards and other flat objects lying in undesirable places on the ground. Wash the places where black ants have appeared in the house with soapy water to remove the smell by which insects navigate.
The University of Kentucky also notes the importance of cleaning and maintaining cleanliness, but also clarifies that the use of chemical insecticides is ineffective in controlling visible ants.
The mistake most people make is to immediately spray insecticide on visible ants. This approach usually fails because the visible insects are only a small part of the colony. Typically, there are thousands of ants inside, including one or more queens.
Destroying queens and other insects within a colony is the key to effective population control.
Entomologists from Texas A&M University give advice on how to get black ants out of your home. Colonies inside walls can be combated by injecting an aerosol through cracks and crevices around baseboards. If the exact location of the colony is not known, poison baits can be effective when placed near trails.
The only way to reach the goal and kill the queen is to deliver poisoned food to her. There are a large number of different baits on the market, the poison of which acts slowly according to the domino principle. The poisoned ant manages to distribute food to relatives or the uterus before dying. He not only brings food to the colony, but also attracts other workers to the bait. When used correctly, baits and stations are much safer than sprays. They are especially effective in early spring.
For indoor use, manufacturers produce baits in solid or liquid form, packaged in stations or in tubes. Sometimes baits are mixed with boric acid in one liquid, poured into special reusable containers or left in drops in places convenient for ants and inaccessible to people and pets. The University of California believes that baits in dispensers or reusable stations are more effective than packaged in disposable traps, especially in the case of liquid baits that dry out quickly.
Gel dispensers are used when you need to leave a small amount of bait in hard-to-reach places: in cracks, behind baseboards or on communications.
Different substances in baits act on different types of ants and at different times of the year. For carpenter ants and odorous domestic ants , sweet baits are suitable, and sod ants are completely omnivorous.
Toxic ingredients also vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. It is not recommended to use granular baits with cyfluthrin, permethrin, propoxur and indoxacarb because of the too fast action of the active substance. In the top 10 below, we have listed the active ingredients used in baits.
Finally, do not use baits in your living space unless absolutely necessary, as they can, on the contrary, attract ants into the house for a while. The result will be noticeable not immediately, but after a few weeks.
How to get rid of black ants in the country and in the garden
These methods are similar to those described above.
On the garden plot, as well as in the house, first you need to do a thorough cleaning: remove the remnants of food from pets and livestock, remove old grass and fallen leaves from the plot, sort out randomly stored things, tools, building materials, etc.
After that, you need to find all the habitats of black garden ants and treat them with chemical or natural means. It must be remembered that a large anthill or large ant habitat requires more thorough treatment with more insecticides. Sometimes it may be necessary to re-process, because. the agent may not get into all ant cracks and passages and not all insects will die. The most important thing, it has already been written about above, is to destroy the uterus. Then the colony will not recover.
On the garden plot, the use of baits without a sticky layer of long action is very effective. They act slowly but surely, and overwhelmingly kill the queen.
After you have removed the ants of the local area, you need to take measures to protect it, without them, the ants will soon settle in you again.
- Maintain order throughout your site, do not leave leftover food and rotten grass and leaves.
- Do not plant flowers, shrubs, trees whose flowers produce a lot of nectar, which is so attractive to ants.
- Use baits to keep insects away from your area to protect your garden and garden.
How to Get Rid of Black Ants Naturally
Diatomaceous earth is used to physically control ants and other domestic pests. A mineral substance, the remains of diatoms, is ground into flour, causing the substance to become sharp enough to inflict fatal damage to insects by cutting through the chitinous cover. For humans and pets, when in contact with elastic skin, diatomaceous earth is safe.
Some baits either use boric acid, which can be bought in powder form. It is effective against a colony of carpenter ants in a home wall or inside furniture, where boric acid spreads through a hole and is distributed along the passages and galleries of the anthill.
Clemson University, among herbal remedies effective against ants, highlights limonene.
Limonene is derived from citrus oils extracted from oranges and other citrus fruits. It is used as a contact insecticide against ants, cockroaches, bedbugs, fleas, silverfish and many other insects. Limonene has low oral and dermal toxicity to mammals, birds, and fish, although it may cause irritation in some people. Limonene is the active ingredient in Ortho Home Defense Indoor Insect Killer. But safer than Fire Ant Killer and Citrex Fire Ant Killer, which also contain this ingredient.
Widely used in the manufacture of insecticides with natural ingredients eugenol, the active ingredient in clove oil. It is used in the fight against ants, cockroaches, ticks, flies, wasps, spiders and other arthropods, including herbivorous pests. Eugenol acts quickly on the insect but is not considered environmentally hazardous. But it irritates the skin and mucous membranes of the human eyes, so it is recommended to wear goggles and rubber gloves when using it. Often used in combination with oils of thyme, sesame, rosemary and others.