Little Black Ant


Actual Size: 1.5 – 2 mm

Characteristics: Dark brown to black. Shiny appearance.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: The reproductive males and females have wings.

Habitat: Prefers wooded habitats, near stumps, trees, piles of lumber, or bricks. Indoors, will nest in wall voids and cabinets and masonry.


  • Tiny, but bullish, known to eliminate small red imported fire ant colonies.
  • Forage into homes from outdoors and will nest in wall voids and under flooring.
  • Swarms are common from June to August, as they forage for food around sidewalks and trails. 

Little Black Ants in Virginia

The little black ant is a common structural pest in Virginia. These tiny black ants feed on a variety of foods including insects, sweets, meats, grease, bread, oils, cornmeal, fruit, and fruit juices. Little black ant infestations are not typically the result of indoor colonies. Usually, the ants are nesting outdoors and make their way inside homes or structures to forage for food. Little black ants are persistent pests and can be tricky to eradicate. 

Little Black Ant Habitats

Common in wooded areas, little black ant infestations originate from outdoors and can be traced to a stump, tree, log, fence, or pile of lumber or bricks. Indoors, colonies may nest in voids of walls and cabinets, as well as, within and behind foundations and brick or stone veneer. These ants also nest in landscape mulch and under stones. At high populations, little black ants may spread throughout a structure and invade nearly every crack and crevice. 

Little Black Ant Behaviors, Threats or Dangers

Although little black ants possess a stinger, it is often too small to do any damage. When they invade a home in large numbers, they can become a major annoyance. Omnivores, little black ants eat almost anything and even feed on bird feces. They are small bullies and have been known to eliminate small red imported fire ant colonies. While they prefer to nest outdoors, their small size allows them to gain access under windowsills, beneath carpets and floorboards, and any crevice Inside your house. Because they feed on any dropped foods or spills, these tiny creatures are considered a pest species. If you suspect a little black ant infestation, it is recommended to contact a professional little black ant exterminator.