A-1 Pest Control North Carolina

Black Ants in North Carolina

Black ants are harmless, but they can still be major pests when they invade your home. And as some of the most common insects found worldwide, the odds are that at some point you’ll have to deal with these unwelcome intruders. 

When that happens, being able to identify these insects is crucial for effective pest control and management. In this article, we'll delve into various aspects of identifying black ants, including what attracts them, where they're commonly found, and what to do if you have them indoors.

Identifying Black Ants 

Black ants, also known as common ants or pavement ants, belong to the genus Formica and are found all across the globe. They are typically small in size, ranging from 1/16 to 1/8 inch in length, and are black or dark brown in color.

Black ants are social insects, living in colonies with a distinct caste system comprising a queen, workers, and sometimes soldiers. The workers are the ones commonly seen foraging for food, while the queen's primary role is to lay eggs to sustain the colony.

Black ants are omnivorous, feeding on a variety of foods, including sugars, proteins, and fats. They are known scavengers and will readily exploit food sources whether they’re inside or outside. 

What Attracts Black Ants?

Whether you're dealing with repeat infestations of these tiny pests or just want to get out ahead of a potential problem, it’s important to know just what attracts black ants in the first place. 

Food Sources

Black ants are opportunistic feeders, and like many animals and insects, they are drawn to various food sources. Their keen sense of smell helps them locate potential meals. Sugary substances are particularly enticing to black ants, making spilled soda, syrup, or fruit juices prime targets for infestation. They are also attracted to protein-rich foods such as meats and pet food. Any crumbs or food residue left behind can attract black ants, leading to infestations in homes, kitchens, or pantry areas.


High levels of moisture act as a magnet for them. They are naturally drawn to areas with abundant moisture as it provides them with a vital resource for survival. Leaky pipes, standing water in sinks or basins, and damp or humid environments create favorable conditions for black ants to thrive. Areas with poor ventilation or inadequate drainage are particularly susceptible to infestations, as they offer the perfect combination of moisture and shelter.


Black ants seek shelter in cracks, crevices, and voids within structures. Buildings with easy access points, such as gaps around windows and doors or openings in walls, become attractive nesting sites for black ants. Once inside, they establish colonies in hidden areas, making them difficult to detect and eradicate. Cluttered spaces provide ample hiding spots for black ants, allowing them to multiply rapidly without ever being noticed.


While black ants can survive in a variety of temperatures, they are particularly drawn to warm environments, especially during colder seasons. As temperatures drop, black ants may seek refuge indoors in search of warmth. Heating systems in homes and buildings create cozy environments that appeal to black ants, encouraging them to invade residential and commercial spaces alike.

Where are Black Ants Commonly Found?

Because black ants are so common, they are commonly found in a wide variety of places. 


When they get into homes and buildings, black ants are often found near kitchens, bathrooms, and areas where food is stored or prepared. They may nest in wall voids, under floors, or within insulation.


Black ants commonly nest in soil, taking advantage of its protective and easily excavated nature. Underground nests provide black ants with shelter from predators and weather conditions, as well as access to moisture and food sources. They may burrow into soil in gardens, lawns, flower beds, and natural areas, creating intricate networks of tunnels and chambers.

They are also known to establish colonies under rocks, stones, and landscaping features such as pavers or retaining walls. These locations offer protection from environmental elements and potential disturbances, allowing black ants to thrive undisturbed.


Black ants may forage in gardens, particularly in areas with plant debris or aphids, which produce honeydew—a sweet substance that ants feed on.

What to Do if You Have Black Ants Indoors?

If you suspect an infestation of black ants indoors, take the following steps for effective control and prevention:

Identify Entry Points

Thoroughly inspect your home or building to identify potential entry points for black ants. Common entry points include cracks, gaps, and openings around windows, doors, vents, utility penetrations, and pipes.

Seal these entry points using appropriate materials such as caulk, weather stripping, or sealant. Ensure that all gaps are properly filled to prevent ants from gaining access to the structure.

Eliminate Food Sources

Whenever and wherever you can cut off access to food sources for black ants. Store food items in airtight containers, including pantry staples like grains, cereals, and sugar, as well as pet food.

Clean up spills promptly, especially sugary substances and food crumbs, to remove potential attractants for black ants. Consider using ant-proof containers for garbage bins to prevent ants from accessing food waste.

Reduce Moisture

Black ants are attracted to moisture, so repair any leaks in plumbing fixtures, pipes, or appliances to eliminate sources of standing water. It can also help to improve ventilation in areas prone to dampness, such as basements, crawl spaces, and bathrooms, to reduce humidity levels.

Use dehumidifiers in damp or humid areas to effectively lower moisture levels indoors and create less hospitable conditions for black ants.

Use Baits and Insecticides

Place ant baits strategically along ant trails, near entry points, and in areas where ants are commonly seen. Baits contain slow-acting insecticides that ants carry back to the colony, effectively targeting the entire nest. Always review product instructions carefully when using baits and insecticides to ensure safe and effective application.

Monitor bait placements regularly and replenish as needed to maintain control over the ant population.

Consult Pest Control Professionals

If black ant infestations persist despite your efforts, consider seeking assistance from licensed pest control professionals. Pest control professionals can conduct a thorough inspection of your property, identify the extent of the infestation, and recommend targeted treatment strategies. They may utilize advanced techniques and products not readily available to consumers, ensuring more effective control and prevention of black ant infestations.

Black Ant Facts

Sure, we don’t want them making themselves comfortable in our homes, but that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate some of these fun facts about black ants—and all they do for our ecosystems. 

Super Strength

Despite their small size, black ants are incredibly strong. They can carry objects many times heavier than themselves, sometimes up to 50 times their body weight! This impressive feat is attributed to their muscle structure and efficient biomechanics.

Antennae Antics

Ants use their antennae not only for sensing their surroundings but also for communicating with each other through touch and chemical signals. These antennae are highly sensitive and play a crucial role in navigation, detecting food, and recognizing nestmates.

Ant "Highways"

When black ants forage for food, they often follow well-established trails known as ant highways. These trails are marked with pheromones left behind by scout ants, allowing other members of the colony to easily locate food sources and navigate back to the nest.

Winter Survival

In colder climates, black ants have developed fascinating strategies to survive the winter. Instead of hibernating like some animals, ants enter a state of dormancy known as diapause. During this time, they cluster together in the warmth of the nest, conserving energy until conditions become favorable again.

Ant Farmers

Some species of black ants are known to engage in a form of agriculture. These ants cultivate fungi as their primary food source by collecting organic matter and planting it in their underground nests. They then feed on the fungi as it grows, effectively practicing agriculture on a miniature scale.

Ant Mimicry

Despite their small size, black ants have inspired various forms of mimicry in the animal kingdom. Some spiders and beetles, for example, have evolved to resemble ants closely, either to avoid predation or to gain access to ant colonies for food or shelter.

Global Residents

Black ants are found on every continent except Antarctica, showcasing their adaptability and resilience in diverse environments. Whether in bustling cities or remote wilderness areas, these industrious insects play essential roles in ecosystems worldwide.

About A-1 Pest Control in North Carolina

Finding ants indoors can be overwhelming, especially when it’s an ant infestation. Though they are small and typically harmless to our physical safety, they can get into food and cause damage to your home's structure. If you would like to request ant prevention in North Carolina, the experts at A-1 Pest Control can help. 

We have offices in Lenoir, Hickory, Blowing Rock, Mooresville, and West Jefferson, but our exterminators serve much of the surrounding area. Find out if our pest control technicians can visit your home in North Carolina.
Contact us today at  828-481-9140 to learn more about our Home Shield pest control plans in North Carolina. Our exterminators will help you take care of black ants—and many other creatures and critters that are best left outside! Schedule a pest control service today.

A-1 Pest Control North Carolina

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