800-937-8398 Call us for a free quote Contact us

Different kinds of black ants

Ants come in many different colors - black being one of them. You may find both big black ants and small black ants, and unless you’re an ant species expert, you may not know the difference between the two. Below we will break down different types of black ants, their bites and stings, and discuss the best way to get rid of them.


Types of black ants

The two main types of black ants that you may find around your property are the big black ant or the western black carpenter ant, and little black ants. Both of these ants can be found in and around your home or business and can be quite the pest if not properly treated.

Big black ants or Carpenter ants

Most of the big black ants you will come across are carpenter ants. The western black carpenter ant (camponotus modoc) is found on the West Coast and in states like Arizona and Idaho.



Size:  Workers are ¼ to ½ inches in length and queens are ¾” in length
Color: Black with dark red legs and golden hairs on abdomen
Habitat: Live in deadwood and wooden structures

Western carpenter ants feed on both carbohydrates and proteins, with insects being a major part of their diet. While termites famously eat wood, these black ants dig out wood to create nests. A black carpenter ants’ primary nest is commonly located outdoors in trees and timbers, but it is also possible for their nests to be located in insulation.

Big black ants are normally nocturnal, so you will probably find their frass (combination of wood chips and insect parts) before you find the carpenter ant itself. If you see carpenter ants inside during winter, their presence may be due to an indoor nest. Due to the property damage carpenter ants may cause, you should get in touch with us as soon as possible so any issues do not worsen.

Little black ants

Little black ants (monomorium minimum) get their name from the fact that they are quite small and usually black. This species is located in the eastern United States as well as the San Francisco Bay Area and the southern part of California.



Size: Workers are about 1/16” in length and queens are about ⅛”
Color: Dark brown or black
Habitat: Generally live outside, but will nest indoors

Little black ants eat both dead and live insects as well as feces of aphids and scales. They will also feed on grease, oil, veggies, fruits, sweets, or meats. As little black ants travel in their colony in search of food, they will enter your home through any tiny opening or crevice, and if your home provides them with food and water, they may stay awhile.

When it comes to choosing a place to live, little black ants will go where they can find food. Outside, little black ants reside in areas that are dark and protected beneath debris, stones, and decaying trees. These tiny ants may also call your lawn or garden home for a while. Indoors, they can build nests in wall voids, insulation, or beneath carpets. They love to hang out in kitchens in cabinets and on window sills where they can access food more easily.

Black ant bites and stings

Thankfully, little blank ants do not present any threat. Little black ants do possess a stinger, but it is typically not big enough to do damage. These tiny pests are just that - an annoying pest in your home - but they are not dangerous. On the other hand, carpenter ants can induce a burning feeling with their bites, as they can inject formic acid. But the good news is that black ant bites are not dangerous. Your skin may get red where the carpenter ant bit you, but it shouldn’t be severe. However, if you do ever experience some kind of severe or strange reaction from an ant bite or sting, contact a medical professional right away.

Black ants with wings

Some ants do have wings, and though these flying ants won’t sting or bite you, you should be concerned if you start seeing them on your property. These ants are known as mature carpenter ants. Once a black ants’ nest has matured and has become overpopulated, an ant colony will produce ants with wings. These winged black ants will then fly to build a new nest nearby, usually in moist wood in or around your bathroom or kitchen.

Western black carpenter ants swarm during the late afternoon, but swarmers in a colony may not appear for several years. If you see many ants swarming inside, it usually means a mature ant nest is located in or near your property. In this case, it’s best to contact a pest management expert to resolve any problems.

How to get rid of black ants

Ants do not belong in a home or business, plain and simple. Ant management is best done with the help of someone who is trained in ant control instead of trying to stop the pests all by yourself. Your specialist will use a method that fixes the issue so ants are completely removed. Although methods can vary, ant control may include a perimeter treatment as well as spot treatment inside, if needed, in the areas of ant activity.

Our pest specialists will help you understand how to keep black ants from coming back. However, there are a few things you can do on your own if you want to get rid of black ants in your home.

To avoid carpenter ants:

  • Trim tree branches so they are not touching your home.
  • Keep firewood away from your house and raise it off of the ground.

To prevent little black ants:

  • Practice good housekeeping by tidying up.
  • Clean food spills.
  • Seal any gaps or cracks in your foundation and near doorways or entry points to prevent them from coming indoors.

Western Exterminator eliminates black ants

When it comes to handling ant problems in general, Western Exterminator knows how to pinpoint the type of ant species at hand and use the appropriate treatment to eliminate the issue. If you have a serious black ant infestation or think you might have one, contact Western Exterminator today. Our experts understand ant species and will provide an effective approach to get rid of the ants on your property.

Find your local branch

We were unable to access your location. Adjust your browser settings or enter your place or zip code above


Enjoy pest-free living all year long with PestFree365+. See how our home pest control plan protects you and your family from 36 common pests.