Little Black Ant


Actual Size: 1.5 to 2 mm

Characteristics: Dark brown to black; shiny appearance.


Antennae: Yes

Wings:The reproductive males and females have wings.

Habitat: Prefers wooded habitats, near stumps, trees, piles of lumber, or bricks. 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 cabinets, and wall voids.
  • Swarms are common from mid-to-late summer, as ants forage for food around sidewalks and trails.

Little Black Ants in El Paso TX

The little black ant is a common structural pest in the El Paso and Anthony NM areas. Little black ant infestations are not generally associated with indoor colonies. Typically, the ants are nesting outdoors and invade homes or structures in search of food. Omnivores, little black ants eat both plant and animal foods. Nesting in mulch or under stones, 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

Prevalent in wooded areas, little black ants nest in shallow nests under debris, wood, and small stones. Infestations start outdoors and can be traced back to a stump, tree, log, fence, or pile of lumber or bricks. Widely adaptable they will nest in wall voids, cabinets, and around sources of heat and moisture in structures. Colonies can grow quite large and they will 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 little bullies and have been known to eradicate entire colonies of small red imported fire ants. While they would rather nest outdoors, their minute size allows them to gain access under window sills, 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.