Little Black Ant


Actual Size: 1.5 to 2 mm

Characteristics: Dark brown to black; shiny appearance.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: The reproductive males and females have wings.

Habitat: Prefers wooded habitats, near stumps, trees, piles of lumber, or bricks. Will nest indoors in wall voids and cabinets and masonry.


  • Known to eliminate small red imported fire ant colonies.
  • Forages into homes from outdoors, nesting in wall voids and cabinets.
  • Swarms are common from June to August, as they forage for food around sidewalks and trails.

Little Black Ants in Central and Eastern Virginia

The little black ant is a common structural pest in Virginia. Little black ant infestations are not typically the result of indoor colonies. Usually, the ants are nesting outdoors and make their way inside homes or structures to forage for food. Omnivores, little black ants eat both plant and animal foods. They feed on all types of foods including sweets, meats, grease, insects, and even feed on bird feces. Persistent pests, little black ants can be difficult to eradicate.

Little Black Ant Habitat

Common in wooded areas, little black ant infestations start outdoors and can be traced back to a stump, tree, log, fence, or pile of lumber or bricks. Indoors, little black ant colonies will nest in voids of walls and cabinets, as well as, within and behind foundations and brick or stone veneer. These ants also nest in landscape mulch and under stones. At high populations, little black ants may spread throughout a structure, invading nearly every crack and crevice.

Little Black Ant Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Although little black ants have a stinger, it is generally too small to do any damage. However, they can become a considerable annoyance when they invade a home in large numbers. They are small bullies and have been known to eliminate small red imported fire ant colonies. While they prefer to nest outdoors, their small size allows them to gain access under windowsills, beneath carpets and floorboards, and any crevice Inside your house. If a little black ant infestation is suspected, it is recommended to consult a licensed ant exterminator.