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Little Black Ant

Description: Worker 1/16″ (1.5-2 mm). Slender, smooth, with sparse body hair. Shiny black to dark brown. 1-segmented “waist” (pedicel) between thorax and abdomen.

  • Antennae 12-segmented, 1st long, last 3 form club. Food Sweet substances, meat fragments, cooked vegetables, other human food. Life Cycle Nests are constructed below ground, raising small craters around opening at the surface, or in rotting wood. Queen feeds 1st brood, then workers take over, tending young and feeding queen.
  • Habitat Forest edges and houses. Range Throughout North America, except Pacific Northwest. Discussion One of the most common ants in homes, this insect is active day and night and is often seen carrying particles of food many feet back to its nest.
  • Because there are usually no winged females, these ants do not have nuptial flights. The Pharaoh’s Ant (M. pharaonis), same size, is pale brown to reddish and more hairy. It nests in woodwork and partitions in Florida, where it is a troublesome pest.