Common Name: Little Black Ant
Scientific Name: Monomorium minimum (Buckley)
This ant gets its name from its very small size and jet-black colouration. It is a native species and is found throughout the United States, especially in the eastern half of the United States, in the southern half of California, and the San Francisco Bay area.
Workers monomorphic, about 1/16″ (1.5-2 mm) long; queens about twice as long. Color dark brown to black, typically black. Antenna 12-segmented, with 3-segmented club. Thorax lacks spines, profile unevenly rounded. Pedicel 2-segmented. Very similar to Pharoah ants, but little black ants are black instead of being yellowish to reddish. Stinger small and weak.
1) Fire ants (Solenopsis spp.) Have antennae 10-segmented, with 2-segmented club, color not black. (2) Other small dark ants with only 1 node/segment in pedicel, or if with 2 nodes, then thorax with spines on upper surface.
Very little has been published on this ant. The colonies are moderate to large and contain many queens. Winged reproductive appear from June to August.
Inside, nests are located in woodwork, decaying wood, and masonry. They feed on grease, oil, meats, fruits, vegetable materials such as corn meal, and sweets. Outside, they nest under stones/rocks, in rotting logs, in lawns, or in open areas. The workers feed on other insects, honeydew, and plant secretion. They forage in trails which can commonly be seen on foundation walls and along sidewalks outside.
Location of nest(s) and its treatment with a residual is ideal; try following ants back from the food source. Dusting the voids of outside ground-floor walls and infested interior walls along with barrier treatment is effective. Baiting may be necessary.