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Black Ants

Black AntsThe little black ant. Yes, that's what they're actually called. Little black ants (Monomorium minimum) are annoying and numerous pests. A single colony can consist of more than 2,000 ants that are active both day and night. They can be found in yards and houses all over the United States, especially the eastern half of the country and southern California.

The biggest difficulty we face with little black ant control is their versatility. They will nest in almost anything. Outside they will be in the ground, in trees, in mulch, in cracks in sidewalks and driveways, in rotted wood, under rocks, etc. Inside, black ants will nest in woodwork, masonry, wall voids, and even under carpets. When it comes to food, they will eat everything. Favorites are sweets, vegetables, fruits, meats, dead insects, plant secretions, and grease. They'll even eat honeydew, which is a secretion given off by plant suckers like aphids and scales.  Following the scented trails they leave, they collect the food and bring it back to their nests. They can bring some pretty big pieces, too—up to 20 times their own weight. Despite their strength, getting rid of black ants isn't all that difficult. The problem is that it's pretty much always temporary.  Once gone, you can count on them coming back at some point.

A clean house is the first step in any pest prevention.  A little black ant will eat anything and everything, so do your dishes.  The little bits and pieces of food that get left behind on dirty dishes, pots, pans, and silverware make a nice meal for a black ant.  Clean stoves, countertops, and tables diligently after every meal or snack.  Crumbs on the floor are an easy food source too. Develop an habit of sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming.  Also remember to take your trash out regularly and to rinse out bottles and cans before ants can find them.

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