Tiny Black Ants

Asked April 7, 2020, 2:50 PM EDT

We are trying to get rid of tiny black ants. They are invading our new home in Stayton, out in the country. Any ideas? Lenetta Colbert 5035680622

Marion County Oregon

1 Response

More than likely, those tiny black invaders are odorous house ants, Tapinoma sessile, which are very common here in the northwest. They are also very persistent in their efforts in that they return multiple times a year.

The usual recommendation of caulking cracks and crevices is always helpful to keep unwanted critters getting indoors. But, when it comes to ants, they are so small that they may come indoors via the smallest of cracks. Then, too, sanitation indoors is important. I'm certain you've heard it before: Wipe wipe up crumbs and spills promptly.

The preferred method to manage ants is to use a commercially-formulated ant bait they will take home to share with their family. Sometimes the invasion stops within a day or two, other times a week or more may be required. Terro (a borate-based bait) or Combat (the active ingredient fipronil) are effective baits for odorous house ants.

Here's info about odorous house ants and their management from Penn State: https://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/odorous-house-ant