Little Black Ant

Actual Size: 1.5 – 2 mm

Characteristics: Dark brown to black; shiny appearance.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: The reproductive males and females have wings.

Habitat: Prefers to nest in wooded habitats, near stumps, trees, piles of lumber, or bricks. Indoor nests located in wall voids, cabinets, and masonry.


  • Forages into homes from outdoors, nesting in cabinets, and wall voids.
  • Aggressive towards invasive species, known to eliminate small red imported fire ant colonies.
  • Swarms are common from mid-to-late summer, as ants forage for food around sidewalks and trails.

Little Black Ants in Santa Fe and Albuquerque NM

A common structural pest in the Santa Fe and Albuquerque areas, little black ants are highly adaptable and are not usually associated with indoor colonies. Omnivores, little black ants eat both plant and animal foods. They feed on all types of foods including sweets, meats, grease, insects, and even feed on bird feces. Little black ants generally nest outdoors and enter homes or structures in search of food. Stubborn pests, little black ants can be difficult to eliminate.

Little Black Ant Habitat

Living in shallow nests under debris, wood, and small stones, little black ants are adaptable and will also nest in wall voids and around sources of heat and moisture. Usually, little black ant infestations start outdoors and can be traced back to mulch, stones, a stump, tree, log, fence, or pile of lumber or bricks. At high populations, little black ants may advance throughout a home, invading nearly every crack and crevice. If little black ants are seen inside your home, it is an indication of a larger infestation outdoors or within the structure.

Little Black Ant Behaviors, Threats or Dangers

Little black ants can sting, but their stinger is small and weak and their sting is not harmful. They are a nuisance pest and can become an annoyance when they enter homes in large numbers. Small bullies, little black ants can push out and displace small red imported fire ant colonies. Preferring to nest outdoors, they will forage indoors for food. Their small size allows them to gain access under window sills, beneath carpets and floorboards, and any crevice inside your home. If a little black ant infestation is suspected, it is recommended to consult a licensed ant exterminator. 

Don’t wait until your home is overrun by ants. Contact the Ant Experts at New Mexico Pest Control today!