Small black ants that teem around homes are most likely of the Monomorium minimum ant species that’s native to North America. The ones you see are worker ants measuring about 1-2mm long, but hidden from your sight are the queens which measure about 4-5mm. These small black ants also go by other common names like tiny black ants or little black ants.
Out in the wild, small black ants thrive on anything from honeydew to bird droppings and dead insects. In an urban setting, however, they’ll forage for food sources in households and will build their nests in soil mounds around your home.
Get rid of small black ants naturally
There is a wide range of natural and organic options to getting rid of small black ants that have invaded your home. These organic solutions are friendly to the environment and won’t add any more harmful toxins and chemicals to our already abused ecosystem. Also, these ingredients may already be lying around your kitchen and pantry or are very easy to acquire from your nearby supermarket or home depot.
Read on to find the best organic treatments to get rid of small black ants safely and naturally.
1. Dish soap or liquid detergent
As you may know by now, small black ants leave pheromone trails whenever they find a food source. What you may not know is that the trail pheromones these small black ants leave last significantly longer than that of other ant species such as fire ants or pharaoh ants. A soapy water mix works well when sprayed or wiped over ant trails and other entry points in your home. These little black ants won’t be able to communicate with each other once you have eliminated these pheromone trails.
2. White vinegar
White vinegar kills ants outright and also repels any remaining ants that may be foraging for food around your home. Use pure or make a solution of 50-50 vinegar and water and wipe up countertops, floors and other hard surfaces. Ants can smell 15 times better than us humans, so the scent of vinegar will repel them even after it dries up.
3. Boiling water
Boiling water works as an outright remedy to kill small black ants on sight or when poured over ant holes you make see on the ground around your home. Don’t wait for these holes to turn into ant hills with large colonies of small black ants beneath. Regularly pouring boiling water over ant holes will discourage ants from building their nests within the proximity of your home.
4. Coffee grounds
Your brewed coffee grounds don’t need to go straight to the trash bin after you’ve made you morning cup. Brewed coffee grounds are a very popular ant repellent so you can sprinkle them in areas where ants frequent, such as near plants or pet bowls and feeders. They’re also great to use on your windowsills where ants have gained entry. Just be sure to replace them occasionally as they lose potency when dried up.
5. Boric acid or Borax (sodium tetraborate)
They may sound alike but boric acid and borax aren’t the same compounds. Nonetheless, they both work quite effectively at eliminating small black ants. You can prepare a solution of ½ teaspoon boric acid or borax and 8 teaspoons of sugar mixed with a cup of warm water. Stir well until sugar and boric acid/borax are completely dissolved. Next, saturate some cotton balls and place in areas where ants frequent. Just make sure your cotton balls aren’t accessible to pets and kids.
Boric acid or borax slowly kills foraging small black ants by eroding their outer shells and later, their digestive tracts. They’re also a common ingredient in homemade ant bait traps which worker ants will share with the queen in order to eradicate entire ant colonies within weeks of exposure.
The organic compound cinnamaldehyde found in both cinnamon powder and cinnamon leaf essential oil have been proven to be quite effective at killing and keeping small black ants or even biting red ants at bay. Simply saturate cotton balls in cinnamon leaf essential oil and place them in areas where ants frequent. Cinnamon powder sprinkled along baseboards and windowsills also works well at repelling these pesky small black ants around the home.
7. Diatomaceous earth (silicon dioxide)
Food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE) is a form of silica and an effective multifaceted agent shown to help eliminate and control small black ants and hundreds of other home and garden pests. It is made up of the fossilized remains of aquatic organisms and its mode of operation is to cause death by dehydration by slicing open insect bodies and drying them out. DE comes in powder form and can easily be sprinkled around areas frequented by small black ants—just be sure to follow package directions when opting to use this form of organic ant pest control.
Why small black ants keep coming back
Small black ants aren’t like other ant species that can be quite picky about where to build their nests. Rather, these pesky little creatures feel at home anywhere and everywhere, which makes them a bit more difficult to control! You’ll find them on the ground, trees and bushes outdoors or they’ll move right into your home and nest in cracks and crevices or even in spaces between your walls. They’re quite versatile and have the ability to survive on almost anything, so there’s one major reason why small black ants keep coming back to your home—a food source.
Cutting off their food source is crucial to keeping small black ants away. This means storing food items in air-tight containers, particularly sweet and starchy stuff like sugar, cereals, cookies and bread. You’ll also have to exert extra effort in cleaning up crumbs and food particles wherever you eat—in the kitchen, dining room or even the living room sofa where you munch on snacks while watching TV. Pay extra attention to your couch, cushions and carpet where food particles get trapped and attract these tiny black ants.
Be sure to check inside, around and under appliances such as your toaster, microwave and oven. Trash bins should also be emptied daily. When small black ants have no food supply readily available in your home, they’ll turn elsewhere to find an alternative source.
Another thing you should do is to determine how small black ants are gaining entry to your home. Check for cracks in your walls and other entry points such as gaps in floorboards and pipelines and seal them well. Trim vegetation around your home regularly as bushes and tree branches touching your structures provide a highway for small black ants to come in.
Professional ant baits—your best weapon against small black ants
You need to eradicate the entire colony to keep ants away for good in case you’re experiencing a persistent problem with small black ants. The ants you see around your home comprise just about 10% of the entire colony and professional ant bait traps are your best bet if you want an end to your ant problem.
Ant bait traps are designed to use the foraging or worker ants’ instinct to seek out food and bring it back to the other members of the colony, which includes the queen. They contain a fat and protein source (which ants love) plus a “slow-kill” pesticide ingredient which the worker ants will share with the rest of the colony.
For more than 20 years, ANT & GARDEN ORGANIC PEST CONTROL in Beaverton, Oregon has provided homeowners with customized organic ant baits that are formulated to work slowly but surely, so small black ants don’t die off before sharing the bait with their other colony members. I personally inspect your property to check where your ant problem is coming from, then I place several ant bait stations at strategic locations so foraging small black ants seek out the bait and take them home to the rest of the colony.
I have helped keep hundreds of homes free from small black ants using only organic ant pest control solutions so if you’re looking for the safest way to put an end to your ant problem, send me a message or give me a call at 503-713-9590 today. I conduct a FREE inspection of your property and design a customized organic ant pest control treatment program for small black ants for as low as $39 per month!