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Little Black Ant Facts & Information

Protect your home or business from little black ants by learning techniques for identification and control.

Black ant illustration
Monomorium minimum
1.5 to 4 mm
12-segmented antennae
3-segmented club
2-segmented body
Rounded thorax & no spine


How do I get rid of little black ants?

What Orkin Does

The first step to prevent and control little black ants begins with a thorough inspection provided by your pest management professional. After conducting the inspection, your pest management professional will provide proactive treatment recommendations and a plan for how to effectively and efficiently deal with the infestation.

One of the first things your pest management professional will look for are ways to exclude ants like sealing cracks and gaps in exterior walls and the foundation. Also your pest management professional will provide some proactive recommendations such as removing and discarding decaying wood, firewood and other debris on the property.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Understanding Little Black Ants


  • Size: Little black ants are small. The workers are as small as 1.5 mm in length, and queens can measure up to 4 mm.

  • Color: They are dark-brown, black or jet black in color.

  • Antennae: Their antennae consist of 12 segments and end in a three-segmented club.

  • Body: Their pedicel, or the ant waist, is two-segmented. Little black ants have no spines, and their thorax is unevenly rounded.


Little black ants are omnivorous and will eat:

  • Corn meals

  • Cotton flea hoppers

  • Greasy or oily foods

  • Honeydew

  • Insects

  • Plant secretions

  • Sweets

  • Vegetables

Geographic Range

Little black ants (Monomorium minimum) dwell in areas of Mexico, southern Canada, and United States. They are widespread in urban and industrial surroundings.


Little black ant colonies can house several thousands of individuals and are located primarily in dark, protected areas. Workers forage in trails and are frequently seen along sidewalks and foundation walls. Indoors, the little black ant can be located in wooden items as well as in walls and the junction between the carpet and walls.

Nest Locations

Little black ants prefer to live outdoors in decaying wood, but will also build their nests in cracks in walls or cement. Outside, they establish their nests under rocks or stones and in rotting logs, gardens and other open areas. Their nests can also be located within small craters of very fine soil. Indoors, the insects build their nests in voids and cavities such as wall voids.


Little black ant colonies have moderate to large populations, with two or more queens in one colony. Little black ant winged swarms are common from June to August, during which time mating occurs. After mating, both males and females shed their wings and the males die soon after mating.

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