Friday Links Round-Up Of Pest Articles

antsThree Natural Pest Control Methods for Ants

Wage war against these pesky home invaders with these natural pest control methods… Read More

How To Get Rid Of Carpenter Ants

One of the most common pests to infest Massachusetts homes each spring is carpenter ants. These insects are capable of causing extensive wood damage, which is why people are always asking the question, “How do I get rid of carpenter ants?” Here’s how…

Skunks and a Recipe for that Smell!!

Did you know when they spray they can spray between 10 and 15 feet? If one does happen to get you, here’s an easy recipe to deal with the smell… Read More.

Termites vs Carpenter Ants

People know that both carpenter ants and termites are wood destroying insects. Most people don’t realize that the similarities between these two insects stop pretty much there… Read More

UT Austin Researchers Identify Crazy Ants’ Defense Against Fire Ant Venom

According to researchers at University of Texas at Austin, who published a new study last week on crazy ants in the journal Science Express, the secret weapon for crazy ants’ victories over their fire ant adversaries is involves secreting a compound that neutralizes fire ant venom… Read More

Pest Of The Week: Pseudoscorpions

Pseudoscorpion

Our pest of the week is often confused for a spider or a baby scorpion. While pseudoscorpions are indeed arachnids, they are not spiders, nor are they scorpions. Pseudoscorpions do, however, look like a tiny scorpion as they have pinchers; but they do not have a tail or stinger. They range in color from yellow to black, are flat and pear shaped, and like I mentioned before; are very small (2-8mm).

Pseudoscorpions are sometimes called book scorpions, because they hide out in dusty books and libraries; feeding on mites, ants, small beetles, and book lice. While they can infest homes and libraries, they are not dangerous to humans as they pose no physical threats. They do not sting.

Astronaut Ants

Space AntA new crop of astronaut recruits are ready to prove themselves among the cosmos.

They’ve been training hard by eating a hardy diet of honeydew, and lifting as much as 50 times their own weight.

Their number has been called, as 800 highly qualified space cadets board a private robotic space craft headed to the stars.

After a three-day journey, each of these space-flyers will set their SIX feet down, calling the International Space Station their new home.

Yes, you heard me right… Six feet!

These new space explorers are not your typical astronauts. They’re ants– or what I like to call, “ant-ronauts!”

Astronaut Ants: 800 Ants Sent To Space

Earlier this month a NASA sponsored experiment was put into action as eight ant farms were sent to the International Space Station as it orbit right above Mexico. A private, robotic, unmanned spaceship called the Orbital Sciences Cygnus cargo vehicle left Earth Thursday January 9th, and touched down on the space station early January 12th. On board– Some 800 Pavement ants (Tetramorium caespitum).

The Purpose Of Space Ants

The purpose of this experiment, and sending the ants to outer-space, is for students to observe and study the ant’s behaviors and movements in a microgravity environment. Researchers believe that by understanding how ants tolerate and adapt to a microgravity environment, we may be able to build improved swarming algorithms.

Learn about how ants use algorithms here.

“We have devised ways to organize the robots in a burning building, or how a cellphone network can respond to interference, but the ants have been evolving algorithms for doing this for 150 million years. Learning about the ants’ solutions might help us design network systems to solve similar problems.”

–Deborah Gordon- principal investigator of the project.

Eight ant farms will be monitored remotely, by camera, and will be observed and documented via live feed.  After the data is collected, it may be years before we unlock the secrets of microgravity and ant algorithms.

Until then school-kids, grades K-12, can observe the ants via live feed, and compare the ant’s behavior to other terrestrial ant farms they may have in their classrooms.

Let’s just hope those space ants don’t escape, and set up residence inside the suits of the astronauts living inside the space station. Instead of ants in the pants, we’ll have ants in the space suit.

Pest Control Links Round Up: Veterans Day Week Edition

Pest Control Links Round Up: Veterans Day Week Edition

US FlagBulwark Salutes Veterans

Here is a very heart warming tribute, from Bulwark Exterminating, in which some of their employees offer some Veterans Day gratitude by offering tribute to a few service men and women they personally know and love. More…

Does Your Fruit Have Flies?

Fruit Flies seem to come from nowhere and are almost impossible to get rid of. Learn what you can do to solve your fruit fly problems here.

Choosing the Right Termite Treatment To Meet Your Needs

They’re termites, and they do billions of dollars in damages to property every single year. So what are the keys to making sure they’re not going to feast on your home? More…

Getting To Know Carpenter Ant Tunnels and Ways to Search and Control Them

For a few facts about Carpenter ants, tips on how to identify them, and how to eventually controlling them, click here.

3 Tips You Need Now to Fight German Cockroaches

For a few tips to help you out with your German Cockroach battle, click here.

Asian Needle AntPest Of The Week: The Asian Needle Ant

Found in the South-East United States, the Asian Needle ant has started to become quite the pest; making a definite impact. One of their biggest impacts to date is that they are driving out Fire ants and Argentine ants in well established areas.

Asian needle ants are a dark brown (almost black) color, with a lighter almost orange antennae and legs. The measure about ¼ of an inch in length, and have been spotted as high north as Virginia. They are very common during from March through October.

Asian Needle ants frequently build their nests in the soil, under whatever debris they can find. Look for their nests under large rocks or logs. A typical Asian needle ant colony will have multiple queens, and can range in members from 100 ants, all the way up to 5,000. These ants will savage for garbage and other organic debris, but their absolute favorite meal is a termite. In this aspect, and probably this only aspect, they are beneficial to homeowners. Serious Asian Needle ant infestations require professional ant control.

Pest Control: Your Friday Links Round-Up

Black House SpiderPest Control: Your Friday Links Round-Up

Fall Wasp Wars

Every autumn, homeowners wage war against wasps and hornets. These flying pests grow excessively aggressive as their preferences move from proteins to sweets. Learn more about these wasp wars.

How to Get Rid of Bugs in Acorns and Pine Cones

Many of us use pine cones for holiday decorations every year, but unknowingly bring pests into our homes by doing so. Here’s a step by step guide to getting rid of these unwanted bugs so you may continue using acorns and pine cones for decor. More…

Plants Enlist Aid From Birds For Pest Control

When trees or plants are under attack from insects, they can emit certain scents that attract birds. The birds in turn then gobble up many of the plants-munching bugs. More…

Tips to Pest Proofing Your Home This Fall

With the change of season comes a different challenge for homeowners because it is also a peak time for pests to make their way indoors. Learn to protect yourself, here.

When Are Carpenter Ants Active?

Click here, to learn more about the most active times of year for carpenter ants.

Carpenter BeePest Of The Week: Carpenter Bees

Measuring almost an inch in length, Carpenter bees get their name for their love of all things wood. They will build their nests in building frames, dried wood, tree stumps, and bamboo by chewing through it. They can be destructive pests, despite their ability to beneficially pollinate.

These bees look almost like bumble bees, but are a little bit smaller and have a glossy, hairless, black abdomen. Throughout the spring and summer months, female Carpenter bees gather nectar to transform into their “bee bread” which they feed to the rest of the colony.

There’s more good news (other than beneficial pollination) about Carpenter bees… The males that one usually sees buzzing around the hive cannot sting.

Halloween Ants: 3 Ants Inspired By The Things Of Our Nightmares

What do Halloween spooks like vampires, ghosts, and zombies have to do with the picnic ruining, biting, stinging, and all around pesky ant? More than you might think!

Here are three different species of ant that are inspired by the things of our nightmares:

Dracula AntDracula Ants

Horrifying ants that suck blood… Say it isn’t so! Dracula ants (Adetomyrma venatrix) are named after the very famous fictitious vampire count Dracula; because of the grisly way in which these ants feast on the blood of their young. Well, technically it’s not the blood of their young that Dracula ants are drinking, but rather the hemolymph or ant blood equivalent. This practice is actually a form of non-destructive cannibalism, as it doesn’t kill the ant larvae.

If you think the ant larvae are simply providing a public service to the rest of the colony, letting hungry worker ants scratch and chew holes through their bodies as they feast on their blood; than think again. Scientists have witnessed the young Dracula ant larvae try to flee in fear, whenever a hungry work ant enters their chamber.

Dracula ants are primarily found in Madagascar, and are actually an engendered species. A typical colony will have about 10,000 ants, and have been found making nests in things like rotting logs and tree stumps. They are orange in color, and have abdomens that resemble wasps more than they do ants.

Ghost AntsGhost Ants

That tiny translucent creature crawling across your kitchen this Halloween is not a pint-size apparition with legs. It’s not the visible manifestation of that bug you squashed with your shoe last week either. Rather, it’s the pesky Ghost Ant (Tapinoma melanocephalum).

Found in Florida, Texas, Iowa, and Hawaii, these ants can be rather spooky for homeowners; as they intrude looking for food. Ghost ants get their name from their distinctive ghost-like appearance; translucent colored abdomen and legs. Unlike the Dracula ant, which feeds on the blood of their young, Ghost ants primarily feed on the honeydew they collect from plant-feeding insects like aphids.

Zombie Ants

You wake in a puddle of some unknown and impious fluid. You disjointedly crawl to your feet, but have no control over your body. You are no longer the living organism you thought you once were, but are some sort of rotting corpse; a hollow vessel harboring something disturbing inside. You’re confused, disorientated, and no longer seem to have any self-control. Most believe you’re dead, but fortunately your loved one’s think you are still alive – your soul still somewhere deep inside this now walking monster of a creature. Whatever sinister it may be, one thing is certain, you only want to satisfy your desire to eat others of your kind and spread the virus within.

No I’m not talking about the pilot to AMC’s The Walking Dead. I’m talking about ZOMBIE ANTS!

Zombie Ant

When I say zombie ants, I’m not referring to a specific species of ant named a “Zombie ant,” but rather a condition affecting tropical Carpenter ants that happen to come into contact with a certain type of fungus (Ophiocordyceps unilateralis). This fungus is a mind-leeching parasite responsible for creating extensive hoards of the zombie ants. Once the fungus has infiltrated the ant’s brain, it will become powerless to resist the calculated directives of its subversive ruler. After spending some time in this zombie-like state, the infected ant will die at a spot that has optimal reproduction conditions for the fungus. The fungus will sprout from the zombie ant’s head, almost like a tombstone, and release more parasitic spores that will infect other ants.

You can watch the whole process here:

 

What’s the scariest ant you’ve ever encountered? 

PestWorld 2013 Day 2

PestWorld 2013 Jordan Belfort

Day two of PestWorld 2013 (October 23, 2013) got off to an enthusiastic start as the 3,300 attendees got the privilege to hear from Jordan Belfort, “the Wolf of Wall Street.” After his remarks all of us pest professionals spent the rest of the morning checking out the pest management exhibits in the exhibit hall, while we mingled and networked with pest management professionals from all over the world. The afternoon was spent sitting in on some concurrent educational sessions, learning about some of the latest pests and pest technologies. During these sessions, much emphasis was also placed on PMP marketing, business management, and industry related training.

Here are a few of the highlights from day two at PestWorld 2013:

Opening General Session: Jordan Belfort “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

 

Jordan Belfort at PestWorld 2013

Day two of PestWorld 2013 was kicked of by “The Wolf of Wall Street,” Jordan Belfort, sharing his interesting story; his rise and fall and rise again. As one of the most successful and dynamic sales guys in the history of Wall Street, Jordan was earning $50 million a year selling $5-$6 stocks to the wealthiest 1% in the country. During the peak of his success, Jordan fell into some of the pitfalls that super successful lifestyle. He found himself on some 22 different drugs, and in jail with Tommy Chong of all people, before he had a moment of clarity and turned his life around. Through this rise and fall, Jordan learned a few things along the way. Here are just a few points he touched on:

“Success in the absence of ethics and integrity is failure!”

  • You can change your life story by not succumbing to a negative situation.
  • If you have a vision, goals, and are driven toward something, you’re happy no matter where you are in life.
  • Our success or lack there-of, can come from our inner-world skills. Our belief systems, or the things in our head, lead us to success.
  • There’s always going to be stuff to trip us up.
  • Be visionary. Focus on visions, not just goal setting. Gravitate to other people with vision.
  • To get on top and stay there, you must continue learning
  • It’s hard to turn non-buyers into buyers. It’s easier to get existing buyers to flip.
  • Reciprocity is a powerful marketing tool
  • Linear concepts are easier for customers, and all of us to grasp.
  • Failure= not managing your growth

3 Things For Success

1. Have a vision for the future

2. Have the ability to share your vision. Make it known to others and empower them to take action.

3. Give more value than you look to receive. Monetize this value. Money and success is a byproduct of value.

The Wolf Of Wall Street Movie Trailer

 

PestWorld Educational Sessions

 

There were 24 different educational sessions to choose from today; everything from hiring/training PMP’s, to bedbug progress, to risks and rewards of pest control technologies. I had the opportunity to personally sit in on these three educational sessions.

Tramp Ants: What New or Exotic Ants Are Coming To Your Area

Dr. Laurel Hansen, from Spokane, WA, presented on Tramp ants. Tramp ants are introduced, exotic, invasive, and alien. They have made their way into urban environments from territories around the world. They are transported by us, usually by accident. Here are a few of the ants popping up in new territories around the world:

Tramp Ants: These Ants Get Around

Ponerine ants- From Africa and Central Asia, now worldwide. They sting! Nest under concrete slabs. Winged females are problems, leaving colonies, mating and stinging. Difficult to control.

Odorous House ants- is a tramp ant because they’re moving across the country. Now #1 most invasive ant, overtaking carpenter ant. Gel baits work best for these ants.

Velvety Tree ant- Similar to odorous house ant, but bigger. Moving from forested areas into structures. Very serious problem.

Pavement  ants- Stinging ants hiding under concrete slabs. Move around a lot.

Ghost ants- liquid baits, showing up in shopping mall atriums even in cold weather climates

White footed ants- found in Florida, SE United States, California, and Hawaii. Liquid baits to treat as well.

Pharaoh ants- Comes from Africa, and might be biggest tramp of them all.

What Would A World Without PMP’s Look Like?

  • Dr. Faith Oi of the University of Florida offered some insights on what our future would look like without pest control. Here are a few quick points I took away from her very in depth and historical presentation:
  • U.S. has ability to export food to poverty stricken countries. Pest control protects this food. Our food exports also affect our economic stability and GDP.
  • Malaria caused 289 million cases and 836,000 deaths in 2010. 90 percent come from areas without pest control. U.S. has very low rates because of pest control and medical technology.
  • 80 percent of diseases are spread by pests. Example: Typhus, Yellow Fever, Plaque which is spread by pests like rats, mosquitoes, and fleas, may have killed billions more victims.
  • Found this fact interesting: If we had pest control in early 1800’s, we wouldn’t have 1/3 of the U.S. Yellow Fever wiped out populations in Haiti, causing Napoleon to sell land known as Louisiana Purchase for $13 million.

German Cockroach Management: How Your Application Methods Can improve Your Speed and Efficacy

german cockroaches

Dr. Dini Miller of Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University presented a very elaborate and detailed guide on some of the most effective ways to combat German roaches. In this strategy, it’s crucial to start your baiting program in January if at all possible (tricky I know), and bait highly infested communities with a lot of bait fast. I will likely dedicate a separate blog post to this method and technique in the near future; so stay tuned!

Stay Tuned

Check back tomorrow for our highlights from day three of PestWorld 2013 in Phoenix, AZ.

 

Friday Links Round-Up: Pest Control Articles

fall leavesFriday Links Round-Up: Pest Control Articles

 

Kissing Bug – Everything You Need To Know About This Dangerous Pest!

Kissing bugs are blood sucking insects that are known to attack humans for their food. A major reason these insects are called “kissing bugs” is because they tend to bite around the mouth and eye region while you sleep which is definitely pretty creepy. To make matters worse, these pests have the ability to transmit a dangerous disease called “Chagas” that can cause all sorts of health complications and can sometimes even be fatal. More…

Pre Treatment Bed Bug Advice

There are a few things you need to know and a few steps that need to be taken before a bedbug treatment. Learn more here.

Creepy Movies With Creepy Crawley Bugs!

Curl up on the couch this Halloween with a few good horror flicks featuring bugs! More…

The Why & The How of Termites In The Home

This article, complete with illustrations, offers a few fairly simple explanations about termites, including “why are they in my home?” More…

Yellow Jacket Sting

This article is one of the most comprehensive pieces of literature I have found about yellowjacket stings. It’s awesome, and a must read!

 

Ghost AntsPest Of The Week: The Ghost Ant

With Halloween just around the corner; what better pest to feature as our pest of the week than the Ghost ant. Ghost ants garner their name because of their translucent legs and abdomens. These tiny ants, measuring a mere 1.3-1.5 mm, are found throughout the tropical areas of the world. In the United States you can find Ghost ants in Oregon, Hawaii, Iowa, and Texas. These ants are not fond of cold weather climates.

Ghost ants enter our homes usually to forage for foods like sweets and grease, but will also feed on living or dead insects. Serious Ghost ant infestations require professional ant extermination.

Bug Themed Halloween Snacks

Sharing Halloween Treats

Halloween is the time to get all buggy – quite literally. Bugs are a common theme associated with the holiday that embraces all things creepy and crawly. A fun way to incorporate bugs into your Halloween plans is by making bug-themed snacks. No, this does not require the use of actual bugs (although technically you CAN eat most bugs if you really want to…) Below are some fun Halloween bug-themed snack ideas that not only will your children love, but adults will love as well.

Chocolate Chip & Spider Cookies

Spider CookiesGot your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe on hand? Good. Now gather the ingredients and make your cookies the way you always do. To create a “spider” effect, take a toothpick and drag it through the chocolate chips when the cookies are fresh out of the oven and the chocolate is nice and melty. Simply drag eight lines from each chip throughout the surface of the cookie, and voila – instant spiders. These are a fun, creepy, and delicious snack to serve to your family and friends on Halloween.

Spider Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are easy to make – simply boil eggs, let them cool (you can speed up this process by running them under cold water), cut them in half, scoop the yolks out into a bowl, add mayo, salt, pepper, and any other seasonings that you prefer (some people prefer adding mustard to the “deviled” part of the egg) and scoop back into the egg whites. To give them a Halloween twist, use olives to craft a spider’s body. Place a whole olive in the center of the deviled eggs, and slivers cut from another olive to craft as “legs.” (Alternately, you can cut one olive in half and use half as the spider’s body and cut the other half into the legs.) These snacks are fun, healthy, and tasty to boot.

Bug Juice

What is a Halloween party without some nice, refreshing bug juice? This creepy crawly beverage is easy to make and fun to drink. You will need 2 10-ounce packages of frozen strawberries, 1 6-ounce can of lemon concentrate, 1 quart ginger ale, 2 cups raisins, and 6 gummy worms. Got all that? Good. Now, you’re going to mix the strawberries and Ants On A Loglemonade concentrate in a blender until smooth and thick. Gradually add in the ginger ale. You will then transfer the drink to a punch bowl, where you will stir in any remaining ginger ale and the raisins, The gummy worms go around the edge of the bowl for a “swampy” effect. This delicious refreshment serves 10, and is the perfect beverage for your Halloween party.

Ants On A Log

Celery sticks spread with peanut butter and covered with raisins make for a delightful and healthy snack. This classic snack-food has been around for quite the while and is a long-time favorite among children.

If you’re planning the menu for your Halloween party, consider bug-themed snack foods. These recipes are all easy to make, are loads of fun, and are kid-friendly. In fact, your kids can even help with their preparation.

About the author: Chris is a blogger for an NJ pest control company. When he isn’t working he enjoys cooking or baking with his little boys.

Published by Thomas Ballantyne

Ten Insect Dishes You Must Try

Spicy herb fried insect wings in food dish and blue fork.

Entomophagists are people who include bugs in their diet. While consuming insects is not for the faint of heart, there are some interesting recipes out there from various cultures which regularly incorporate bugs in their diet. Below is a list of ten unique insect dishes that you might want to try if you’re ever feeling adventurous or are simply looking for an additional source of protein.

1. BBQ Silkworm Chrysalises 

 

Fried silk worms

These hard shelled pupa are a byproduct of the silk industry and are canned or sold by street vendors throughout Asia. They can be enjoyed deep-fried or barbecued. This Asian delicacy can be eaten whole or you can just enjoy the yellow meat inside, which smells like raw meat and tastes like tofu.

2. Mosquito Eggs and Tortillas

 

Culex quinquefasciatus Ovipositing 

This Mexican delicacy involves drying and then roasting mosquito eggs prior to being served on a tortilla with a squeeze of lemon or lime. A small bottle of mosquito eggs is comparable to caviar at $50 a pop.

3. Katydid Texas & Thai Fusion 

 

notorious bug eating of asia

This dish combines Texas katydids with coconut oil, green onions, and Thai seasonings, with the concoction stuffed into mushroom caps to complete the exotic meal. Many people recommend removing the katydids’ legs, as they can be tough.

4. Cockroach Sushi 

 

Eggs, (cooked) bacon and hashbrown potatoes, s... 

Cockroaches can be clean and completely edible as long as they’re fed fruit and veggies before being toasted. These common household pests can be toasted, sautéed, or boiled, but must not be eaten raw. One dish you can incorporate cockroaches into is sushi – these critters go great with rice. It is said that large, hissing cockroaches taste like and have a similar texture to greasy chicken.

5. Centipede or Millipede on a Stick 

 

Centipedes on a stick

This snack is commonly sold by street vendors in China. While centipedes taste better, millipedes are more commonly used. Centipedes have to have their heads removed before cooking, since they use their pincers to bite, but the millipedes can be cooked with their heads intact. Millipedes on a stick are known to have a bland flavor, similar to a dry spaghetti noodle.

6. Waterbug Noodle Soup

 

Mang Da Na -- Giant Waterbugs
Mang Da Na — Giant Waterbugs (Photo credit: oschene) 

Waterbugs and udon noodle soup is a popular dish in Taiwan, taking precedence over the traditional chicken noodle soup we enjoy in the U.S. Apparently waterbugs taste like a mixture of clams and potatoes. Who knew?

7. Chocolate Cricket Chip Cookies

 

"Chocolate chirp cookies" with crickets
“Chocolate chirp cookies” with crickets (Photo credit: Mills Baker)

This unique spin on chocolate chip cookies adds in crickets for a nutty flavor and crunchy texture. Crickets are enjoyed by people all over the world, and are known to have a roasted nut flavor, which makes them the perfect addition to chocolate chip cookies.

8. Fried Hornworms

 

fried worms

Tomato and tobacco worms, also known as hornworms, have the distinct flavor of shrimp, crab, and green tomatoes when fried in oil. Although they must be put on a starvation diet for a few days prior to being eaten, since the plants they live off of are toxic for people to eat.

9. Tofu Grasshopper

 

Grasshopper special

Grasshoppers are a delicacy popular in Japan, Uganda, and Mexico, and are especially tasty when paired with tofu. Not all grasshoppers are edible, however – only solid colored ones can be eaten.

10. Chocolate Covered Scorpions

 

Chocolate-covered Scorpion 

It’s hard to resist any treat that’s been dipped in chocolate – even scorpions. The toxins from these pests are rendered harmless once the creatures have been stir-fried or just plain fried in hot oil. It is said that scorpions taste like shrimp, and are extra tasty when dipped in chocolate.

It takes someone with a lot of courage to try these dishes, but if you have an adventurous spirit you may just discover that you love them!

About the author: Chris is a blogger for a el paso pest control company. He hasn’t tried eating insects yet, other than the occasional fly from a too-wide yawn, but he’d really like to try. Especially chocolate covered ones.

Published by Thomas Ballantyne

Friday Links Round-Up: Weekly Pest Control News

Friday Links Round-Up: Weekly Pest Control News

Pest Control LinksDiatomaceous Earth Pros and Cons

There is such a mixed sentiment out there about diatomaceous earth, leading to a lot of confusion. People are left wondering if it really does kill pests, and if so, how effective it really is. Learn more about the pros and cons, here.

Higher Temperatures Are Bringing Out The Wasps

Have you noticed an increase in wasp activity this September? Apparently, the recent hot spell is bringing out wasps in full force in some areas of North America. More…

Keeping Bed Bugs At Bay – Even In College

College dorms are quickly becoming one of the most frequent areas becoming infested with bedbugs. While away at college, know what to do to keep from getting bit by these tiny, miserable bloodsuckers. More…

Thief Ants Will Steal Your Sanity

The Thief ant’s persistent pesky behavior makes them difficult to control once they make their way indoors. More…

Tips To Keep Pests Out Of Your Home This Winter

As the weather cools, and with winter right around the corner, pests are making their way inside your home; looking for places to overwinter. Here’s what you need to know. More…

Little Black AntPest Of The Week: The Little Black Ant

Frequently found in the Eastern United States, as well as Southern California, the little black ant is known for being quite the nuisance. Their name adequately describes this ant species, as it’s little (measuring only about 1/16 of an inch), and a glossy black. In fact, when compared to most other ant species that are commonly found in the US, little black ants are extremely small. Their queens usually reach the same size as other ant species; measuring about 1/8th of an inch long.

One unique characteristic the little black ants have is that they are unable to chew food. Instead, these ants simply suck out the liquid nutrients found in the foods they eat and leave behind the solid. The favorite meal of the little black ant is the honeydew that aphids produce. Additionally, these ants will also consume insects, sweets, vegetables, and greasy foods. Like most other ant species, the little black ant forages in trails and can carry about 20 times its body weight. Impressive!

Little black ants do not cause structural damage to homes, but are considered to be an annoyance. Serious little black ant infestations or nesting should be professionally treated by an ant control specialist.