When you see little black ants crawling around on the outside of your Hendersonville home, you may wonder if those ants are going to be harmful to your property, especially if you're aware that carpenter ants can be black. Carpenter ants tunnel through wood and, over time, they can do quite a bit of damage if left untreated. You have good reason to be concerned. But little black ants don't damage the wood of Hendersonville homes. They don't carve out galleries in wood to create a place for their nests. They nest in the ground. But how do you tell the difference between black carpenter ants and little black ants if they're both black? One way is to look at the size. Carpenter ants are much larger than little black ants. There is a reason why this ant species has "little" in its name. Workers are only 1/16 of an inch. Carpenter ant workers range from ½ to ⅝ of an inch. They're much larger. If you see black ants, and they look like thousands of little specks running around on the ground, or climbing the side of your home, those aren't carpenter ants. So, you don't need to worry about them damaging your home. But, are there other ways they can be harmful? Here are a few things you should know about these little pests.
How do little black ants compare to other ants?
Some ants sting. The red imported fire ant is an example of an ant that does this. It can be unpleasant to be stung by fire ants as the wounds burn. When scratched, these wounds can become infected. While little black ants have a stinger, it is too small and weak to be effective against human skin.
Some ants spray formic acid. The crazy ant is an example of an ant that does this. While not painful, it can be unpleasant to have crazy ants crawl all over your skin and spray you. Little black ants don't spray formic acid. Here's a fun fact: Formic acid is sort of an antidote to fire ant venom, and it has made crazy ants the arch-nemesis of fire ants.
Some ants spread diseases. The Pharaoh ant is an example of an ant that does this. Pharaoh ants are an efficient mechanical vector for microorganisms as they are drawn to the open wounds of pets, livestock, and humans. While little black ants can get into your trash and accidentally bring harmful bacteria into your pantry and kitchen, they're not efficient at doing so, and they are mostly considered nuisance pests.
How Little Black Ants Become A Problem
What is likely to happen with little black ants is that they will come close to your Hendersonville home when they search for honeydew on landscape plants. Honeydew is a sweet excretion produced by aphids. If you have issues with aphids, you shouldn't be surprised when you start seeing lots of little black ants.
Once little black ants start establishing nests near your home, such as underneath your driveway, pathways, a sidewalk, your foundation, a pile of wood or stone, and other ideal nesting spaces, they'll start to explore your exterior. Since they're so small, it is pretty easy for them to get inside.
If scout ants find a food source in your home, they let the other ants in their colony know where the food is by laying down a chemical trail. Within a short time, you can have hundreds of ants mobbing a food package in your pantry or kitchen. When they get in your food, they can make you want to throw that food out. That is why they're a problem.
Ant Control In Hendersonville
If you see little black ants around, or inside your home, you don't need to be too concerned. They're mostly nuisance pests. If you'd prefer to not be annoyed by them, remember that the service team at All-American Pest Control is always available to help you keep ants and other pests out. Reach out to us for immediate assistance.