Ants are almost everywhere and you are likely to spot one specie or another every so often. One of the many ant types that you may have come across is the black ant. Unless you are conversant with various types of black ants, you may not be able to tell them apart. Some of them have the ability to bite or sting, while others do not. What they all have in common though, is that they are quite bothersome when they enter your home to look for food or nest in the structural timber of your home.
Types of black ants
Let’s take a look at two common black ant species you might have come across. Being able to identify the type of black ant that invades your home, puts you in a position to know how best to get rid of them.
- Carpenter ants
Carpenters are considered to be big in size by ant standards as they measure between 6 -13 millimeters. Carpenter ants prefer wood that is moist. So if you have a moisture problem in your home, carpenter ants are likely to settle in. As their name suggest, theirs ants have the ability to make holes and tunnels on timber and are therefore considered to be structural pests. Contrary to what most people think, these ants do not eat wood but excavate to make their nests.
With time this weakens the structural integrity of your house. They prefer living in the roof where there is fewer disturbances and on any wood near moisture.
Their preference in terms of food can range from sugars such as honeydew or granulated sugar in the house to any form of syrup. They also feed on protein such as morsels of left over meats. Shrubs and numerous plants form part of their diet.
Some species of Carpenter ants are known to be aggressive and will bite or sting if their nest is interfered with.
- Little black ants
As the name suggests, these fellows are quite small as their workers measure 1.5 mm while their queens are slightly bigger. The little black ant has a stinger and will often sting if their nest is disturbed. But their stinger is too tiny to have any effect on humans. The little black ants prefer to feed on greasy or oily foods, honeydew, veggies, sweets, insects and plant secretions.
Are black ants harmful?
Like most ants, black ants can be generally bothersome when you find them all over your food and ingredients in the kitchen such as in your cooking fat and sugar dish. The carpenter ant has a destructive side to it that can cause huge costs in repairs.
As far as their bite goes, it can be quite painful because of their size. The bite is more painful as a result of the ant spraying a defensive chemical of formic acid.
The bite of a carpenter ant is fairly painful. Because of their complex nesting habits and the damage they can cause to structural timber, it is best to have a licensed pest handler exterminate them from your premises.
The little black ant is a nuisance, but an infestation can be a cause of headache as they tend to invade your kitchen and mess with food. Seeking assistance from your pest controller should solve that problem for you in no time.