Little black ants got their name from their size and color. They are tiny black ants. The workers are about 1/16″ long. When they invade homes, some people call them “sugar ants”.
Little black ants nest in the ground outdoors. They often use logs or firewood a shelter and nest underneath. The workers gather insects and honeydew for the colony to eat. It is common to see the workers moving along a sidewalk in a line.
Sometimes the line of workers moves across the foundation or over a windowsill and into the house. The colony makes its home inside of a void space – inside a wall or in a cabinet base. Even though the colonies are small, there are usually several queens. If the colony is disturbed, it will migrate to another nesting site.
When they are indoors, the workers follow baseboards and cabinets when they are trailing. In rooms with carpeting, the workers often trail along the edge of the carpet. If possible, follow the trail of ants and they will lead to the nest. If the trail disappears under an exterior wall, the ants may be coming from a nest outdoors and leaving again.
Preventing these ants from invading starts with a thorough inspection of the home. Look outside and close up any entrances the ants could use. Check the exterior doors to be sure they close tightly and replace any missing weather-stripping. Small squares of plastic screen can block ants from using weep holes without hindering ventilation.
Check the foundation for obvious cracks that the ants could use to get into the home. Trim tree limbs and shrubs that touch the house. Rake dead leaves and mulch away from the foundation. Stack firewood on a rack and move it away from the house.