Big Black Ants

Why Are They In My House?

By: - Home & Family - August 31, 2011
big black ants why are they in my house

In almost all cases, the big black ants you see invading your home are called “carpenter ants”. Carpenter ants are common in areas where there is a high water table. Often, if they are in your home or property it is due to excess moisture either inside or outside your home. They love wet wood, so if you have wood piles that are damp, they may be nesting there. They can also be found in attics where there are leaky roofs and in areas of the wall near the gutters.

These big black ants love wood rot, which is a type of fungus that destroys the wood. Though it may seem ants are eating the wood, they are actually eating the fungus. Carpenter ants are unable to digest wood. If you are seeing big black ants in your home, there are several things you should check. The first is to check all of your entrances for dampness. This should include windows and ducts. They may need caulk or weather stripping. Check air conditioning units for holes and also leaking dishwashers or washing machines.

If you don’t have large carpenter ants, you may have little black ants. Not much is known about these little guys except they tend to live around the edges of carpeting in your home, they love greasy and or sweet food. Colonies of little black ants usually have several queens and grow very quickly.

No matter if you have carpenter ants or little black ants, baiting them is the best way to remove them from your home. Granular baits are the most common and should be placed where ant trails are already established. For example, if you always see ants in one area or they seem to be walking in the same direction, there is probably an ant trail there, an invisible scent trail the ants use to find their way back to the colony. If you are baiting outside, make sure the area is dry enough to actually put the bait.  If you are expecting rain or storms, it may be a good idea to wait a few days until things dry out before baiting.

The ants will take the bait, thinking it is food, and carry it to the colony, poisoning them one by one. Other types of baits include gel baits and baiting stations, known as ant traps. Sprays and pesticides can also be used, of course, but if you have pets or children, granular baits are a good option.

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