Let's take a moment to discuss a common situation that occurs in our Raleigh service area. A homeowner comes home from work and notices little black ants on the way into the house. Upon inspection, it is determined that the ants are all over the area near the entryway into the garage, and they seem to be living in the concrete at the threshold between the driveway and the garage door. The homeowner gets on the internet and looks up little black ants because that's what they look like. It is determined that little black ants are an ant species and that they can be controlled with a certain kind of bait. Off to the store the homeowner goes. Bait is sprinkled all around the outside where these ants are active. Two days later, the area is inspected against and the homeowner wonders, what was in that bait? Fertilizer? The ants are still everywhere! Let's take a look at this problem from a scientific perspective.

ants on mixing bowl
ants eating sugar

Not Every Black Ant Is A Little Black Ant

Little black ants are of the species monomorium minimum. At 1/16 to ⅛ of an inch, they are definitely little black ants, but they're not the only little black ants that can appear around homes in Raleigh. 

  • Odorous house ants can be little black ants—though they are often dark brown. These ants range in size from 1/16 to ⅛ of an inch.

  • Pavement ants can be little black ants. Like odorous house ants, they may also be a dark brown color. These ants are ⅛ of an inch.

  • Carpenter ants can be little black ants. There are major and minor workers in a carpenter ant colony. Major workers can be ½ to ⅝ of an inch. Minor workers are typically ¼ of an inch, but they can be as small as ⅜ of an inch, depending on the species.

Do You See The Problem?

All ants are little. If you see black ants on your property, it can be difficult to tell what kind of ants you're dealing with. This can be a problem as control methods vary with each species. But, more importantly, some ants are more dangerous than others. If you have odorous house ants, pavement ants, or little black ants, the only concern is that these ants could get into your home and get into your stored foods. While irritating, they're not going to present a medical threat. The ant to be concerned about is the black carpenter ant. If the little black ants you're seeing are actually carpenter ants, your property could be at risk for damage. Black carpenter ants target rotting wood and softwood, but they're known to damage all types of wood in a home as they expand their nests or produce more nests.

Not A Black Ant

What if you have red ants on your property. Should you be concerned? If they're red imported fire ants you may want to be. Fire ants can be miserable when they develop colonies in your yard. The venom they inject when they sting causes a burning sensation. The wounds created have pustules at the centers. After being stung, these wounds can hurt for a few minutes, and itch for days, or even weeks. In most cases, this is the extent of the threat, but some people are allergic to the venom of fire ants and they can produce unpleasant, and even life-threatening, symptoms. Allergies can worsen with repeated exposure to fire ants, with age, or due to a medical condition. You should take quick action at the first sign of fire ants on your property.

Ant Prevention

Most ants don't present a threat to your health or property, and there are methods for managing ant populations and for keeping ants from entering your home.

  • Remove trash from your property weekly.

  • Clean trash receptacles if they start to smell bad.

  • Thoroughly clean recyclable items, especially if you intend on keeping them in your garage.

  • Address any conditions that cause the perimeter around your home to be damp.

  • Remove leaf litter.

  • Trim branches and vegetation away from your exterior walls.

  • Apply a seal around foundation and exterior wall penetrations, such as water mains and wire conduits.

Ant Control In Raleigh

Remember that the team at Go-Forth Pest Control is always standing by to assist you with ant identification, management, and control. We can evaluate your ant problem and provide you with the right options for your specific needs and budget. Reach out to us today and tell us about your ant issues. Most ants aren't dangerous, but it sure is nice to not have them around. 


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