Identifying the Tiny Black Ants Swarming into Your Bathroom & Kitchen
Perhaps one of the most common house pests found throughout the Eastern United States are tiny, black or dark brown ants, which are commonly found in bathrooms and kitchens.
This tiny pest can leave homeowners and business owners feeling frustrated, especially if they aren’t sure what kind of ant it is and how it’s getting into their house or business.
More than likely, those tiny black ants that are caught invading a home’s bathroom and kitchen are odorous house ants.
Named after the rotten smell the pest emits when squashed or crushed, odorous house ants live in colonies and infest homes in swarms, which grow exponentially from June to August — the pest’s prime mating season.
During these summer months, environmental conditions like warm temperatures and extended daylight hours encourage odorous house ants to gather, mate, and reproduce.
For homeowners, having ants in the kitchen and bathroom is a nightmarish thought, especially as such rooms are shared spaces that are used on a regular basis.
Although not dangerous, the sight of an odorous house ant in the kitchen or bathroom is quite unpleasant as the pest can contaminate the space with bacteria.
And seeing small black ants inside the home or business often indicates a bigger infestation may be lurking in the walls, voids, or other cracks throughout the structure.
Considering a single odorous house ant colony can contain up to 10,000 ants during the peak mating season, the possibility of an infestation is extremely concerning to any homeowner.
It’s important for property owners to know what could be causing an odorous house ant infestation and how a pest control professional can eliminate the issue.
Where are These Odorous House Ants Coming From?
Whether you’ve encountered an ant infestation before or if this is the first time, it’s vital to understand how the pest is able to gain access to the building and where they’re coming from.
Unfortunately, at only an 1/8-inch long, odorous house ants can easily get inside a home through even the tiniest of cracks or crevices, like underneath doorways and through holes in the walls.
And as the pest comes from wooded areas in humid climates, an abundance of tiny black ants can be found in the Northeast.
The appearance of ant mounds — or nests, throughout a yard or property is a sign odorous house ants could soon become a problem within the home, if it hasn’t already.
While living outdoors, odorous house ants survive by eating other insects — especially ones that secrete a sugary substance known as honeydew, like mealybugs.
In addition to this, the small, black ants eat vegetables and plant secretions, such as nectar. This sweet diet also gives the odorous house ant its nickname, the sugar ant.
But when in need of more moisture, heat, or nutrients, swarms of odorous house ants may venture indoors through cracks in piping, cement, and wooden infrastructure or flooring.
Once inside, the pest will establish nests in the walls, wall voids, and other cavities throughout the house.
An average-sized odorous house ant colony contains 2,000 workers. But during the pest’s peak mating season, colonies can contain up to 10,000 workers.
So, although little and seemingly harmless, this unwelcome houseguest can quickly turn into a major problem if left unaddressed.
Left to its own devices, an odorous house ant colony will continue to multiply throughout the home — invading and contaminating a household’s food and water supply, a true nightmare for any homeowner.
Why are Odorous House Ants Showing Up in My Kitchen & Bathroom?
While odorous house ants can infiltrate any part of the home, the tiny black ants favor kitchens and bathrooms for several reasons.
For one, odorous house ants are attracted to easily accessible food. Using odor detectors, the pest can locate food sources of any kind — including residues, leftovers, food on used dishware, and crumbs.
As a result, kitchens and pantries become hot spots for odorous house ants to ravage and feed.
Improper food storage, like leaving pantry goods and pet food unsealed or opened, encourages the tiny black ants to invade the kitchen.
Even if the only traces of leftovers are restricted to the kitchen sink disposal and garbage can, ants will find a way to access it — especially if both remain uncovered and exposed.
Another reason tiny black ants are primarily found in the kitchen and bathroom is because in addition to foraging in trails or swarms for food, odorous house ants are also searching for sources of water.
Water is pumped into the home by way of sinks, dishwashers, toilet bowls, and showers — which is quite appealing to the pest.
Condensation produced by kitchen and bathroom appliances as well as poor ventilation can create pools of standing water for odorous house ants to drink from.
Since both the kitchen and bathroom provide the easiest access to food and water, these rooms are most targeted by odorous house ants.
To discourage ants from venturing into the kitchen, properly store food — including pet food, in hard, non-porous, and airtight containers. This effectively cuts off its access to nutrients.
Homes and businesses that suffer from leaky faucets or poor ventilation should have the issue rectified to stymie the pest’s access to water.
Taking such measures can help to prevent an odorous house ant infestation from worsening until a pest control specialist arrives and eliminates the issue.
Contact a Professional to Eliminate & Prevent Ant Infestations
The sight of small black ants in the kitchen, bathroom, or other area of a home or business is quite alarming.
But it is also an indication of a potentially serious infestation that needs to be addressed by a pest control technician.
Professionals can eradicate the issue completely by finding the source of the infestation, which is most often the colony’s nest, and removing it.
Trained pest technicians also reinforce the home with barriers and other methods to permanently keep odorous house ants out of the kitchen, bathroom, and all other areas of the business or home.
Ant control and elimination services from Catseye Pest Control have been designed to tackle ant infestations with effective methods, like insect growth regulators. Such devices destroy the ants but are harmless to people and animals.
As a leading pest management service provider in New England, Catseye employs technicians with the expertise and skill to eradicate odorous house ants — and other common insects — from any property.
Don’t let ants, odorous or otherwise, invade your property. Contact Catseye today to learn how we can help regain control of your home and sanity.