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Small Black Ants

Small black ants

We just moved to Tampa, Florida.  Before we moved in the house was vacant and had a lot of dead bugs inside.  We have hired a pest company and that problem seems to have been resolved.  Recently, we've noticed tiny black ants coming from the yard or garden beds coming up the walls of our outside of the house and going into the attic.  I haven't seen any in the house.  Why are they doing this and how can I control them.  I've creating a boric acid barrier around the house to spraying boric acid in my attic.  Any suggestions would be helpful.


A boric acid barrier can be helpful in reducing the foraging ants.  This may not halt the activity within the colony.  Ants will continue to be generated by the laying queen or queens. Ants follow pheromone trails that are set down by earlier travellers that have found a food source.  The intensity of the trail brings about additional ants that continue back and forth along a verified food trail.  When ants are killed, this may not be enough to destroy a colony.  I suggest that you test their trail by placing grated cheese in their path, and also a bottlecap  filled with honey, in order to see if either will cause the activity to swing to your test site.  After a time, say an hour, ants should be telling you which bait they prefer. You will then know if you should purchase a protein or a carbohydrate bait. 

When ready, contact the supplier of your choice or go to our website and link to the supplier in our link list.

Bait continually until ants no longer take the bait.  Ants store large quantities of food that they prefer.  Once they have carried their desired fill, the process of destruction will take a while.  Allow three weeks before you feel that its taking too long.  Do not use any boric acid during this kill time.  The foragers are your aids in destroying the colony.  If they are stopped by alternative killing methods, you lose on the baiting approach. 

Liquid and gel baits will eventually destroy foragers because they will carry these substances in their crops(storage stomachs), and  they will eventually succumb.  Dry granular baits are carried by the mandibles, and are not ingested on the way to the colony.

One other footnote is that as the ants focus, you will know if they originate from the attic or from the yard, since their trailing will be to and from their colony.

For further ant information, there are other ant postings from previous questions asked of me.

Good luck,

George Manning

Consulting Entomologist

Chicago Pest Control

Chicago Exterminator


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