Black Ants are a common pest around Perth & Ellenbrook
Black ants (ochetellus glaber) are found in suburban and rural areas across their native Australia. When in the natural habitat, they usually nest in sand, under rocks, in rotting logs, or under the bark of trees. But almost any crevice or cranny will do, even the hollow stems of plants.
In the wild they perform a useful function, eating the eggs, larvae, and pupae of other insects, along with small adult insects. They also eat small worms, seeds and other plant material.
Worker Black Ants
Worker ants are active by day and night. They are often discovered tracing convoy lines across walls, benches and floors. These trails can stretch long distances.
It’s not uncommon to find black ants in your laundry, pantry, kitchen or bathroom.
Adults grow up to 3mm in length. Their colour ranges from glossy black to dark chocolate brown. When crushed, they emit a strong odour.
Black ants belong to the same subfamily as the notorious Argentine ant.
Thankfully, like all other ants of this group, they lack a sting. However, they can bite.
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Where to find black house ants
In backyards, black ants can be a minor nuisance. Gardeners sometimes find them climbing tree trunks in long trails.
But problems really erupt when they enter the home. New colonies are set up in wall cavities, beneath floors, and in the crawl spaces of roofs.
Like many other ant species, the workers leave pheromone trails to mark foraging paths between their nest and tasty food sources. They are particularly fond of sugary foods, and also forage in search of water.
Black ants are an international problem
The problem has been shared with the rest of the world. Black house ants are considered an invasive species in the United States, New Zealand, and islands across the Pacific Ocean.
Book the ant expert (Alex)
Expert eyes are needed to identify black ants properly, as there are more than 500 species of ants in the South-West botanical region alone (according to Curtin University entomologist Brian Heterick in his Guide to the Ants of South-western Australia, Western Australian Museum, 2009, page 15.
A qualified pest management technician like Alex can determine the extent of your problem.
Even better, he can help eradicate it.