The March of the Miniature: Very Tiny Ants are Infesting My Home
They might be small, but the infestation can become mighty. Miniscule ants may seem like a small trouble in the beginning, but can quickly become something more than just a simple nuisance. While they don't necessarily pose the same risk as letting a colony of red ants rule your home, they do cause pesky and persisting problems that ought to be avoided when possible.
Petite ants are often called "Sugar Ants" in order to indicate them as a different species than that of the larger and sometimes more common ants, although this is not their actual scientific designation. They are indeed tiny, and can measure as little as two millimeters in length. The queens, on the other hand, can measure up to four millimeters in length, which still is an admittedly minuscule number. Their waist is constricted, they have elbowed antennae and six legs. They can be a light brown, a dark brown, or a black color, and can be found throughout the United States. This is not an invasive species, despite what you might think after they find themselves in your home, but rather a native species.
These are not the same type of ants as the larger, more prominent ant species that you might be used to handling. Carpenter Ants, a common species, come in a variety of colors: black, brown, and brown-and-orange. They are significantly bigger than sugar ants and are primarily nocturnal. Another species you may run into that differs from the Sugar Ant is the Fire Ant. These are reddish-brown and make mound nests outside.
Tiny ants are nicknamed "Sugar Ants" for a reason - you can attract them into your home by leaving out substances like sugar. They are omnivorous and eat the following goodies, whether they're on a human table or not:
- Other Insects
- Plant Secretions
- Greasy Foods
- Corn Meal
If you find that you are tracking lines of Sugar Ants throughout your house, particularly through cracks in walls and on windowsills, you may need to consider taking action. They prefer to live outdoors, but they won't turn down the opportunity to live indoors if there are places in walls or cement where they can build a nest. Since these colonies have the ability to house several thousand ants as well as multiple queens, it is best to take action to eliminate the ants early if such a population has made itself an uninvited guest in your home.