The biggest difficulty we face with little black ant control is that they are such versatile things. They will nest in almost anything. Outside they will be in the ground (you've seen the little craters that mark the entrance), in trees, in mulch, in cracks in sidewalks and driveways, in rotted wood, under rocks, etc. Inside, black ants will nest in woodwork, masonry, wall voids, and even under carpets.
When it comes to food they eat, forget about it. They eat everything. Favorites are sweets, vegetables, fruits, meats, dead insects, plant secretions, and grease. They'll even eat honeydew, which is a secretion given off by plant suckers like aphids and scales. They don't eat their chow right where they find it, though. Following little scent trails that they leave; they collect the food and drag it back to their nests. They can drag some pretty big stuff, too—up to 20 times their own weight.
Despite their colossal strength, getting rid of black ants isn't all that difficult. The problem is that it's pretty much always temporary. Once gone, you can count on them coming back at some point. At least you'll have this article to refer back to. Whether this is your 1st or 30th time dealing with these tiny black ants, let's get rid of 'em !
• Start with a clean house. As I mentioned above, a little black ant will eat anything and everything. So do your dishes. The little bits of food that get left behind on dirty dishes, pots, pans, and silverware make a damn fine meal for a black ant. Wipe stoves, counter tops, and tables diligently after every meal or snack. Crumbs on the floor are tasty too. Develop an obsessive compulsive habit of sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming. Also remember to take your trash out regularly and to rinse out bottles and cans before ants can find them.
• Protect your food stuffs. Even if your kitchen is spotless, little black ants can and will invade your home in search of food. Don't give them the satisfaction of finding unguarded food. Store everything in tight containers, preferably plastic containers with snappy lids, tin/aluminum canisters, or jars with rubber gaskets. This includes, but is not limited to, flours, sugars, pastas, cereals, chips, butter, and oils. Basically assume that if it's something you can eat that the ants would also like to eat it.
• Gather a search party. Before you start to kill ants all willy-nilly, you should probably make sure you know where they're coming from. It's just nice to know if they are camping out inside your home or if they're sneaking in from the outside. By having this information, you will be able to target the colonies more effectively later. When you see ants inside, watch them for awhile and see what little nook or cranny they are retreating back into with their bounty. Spend some time outside looking around for ant colonies too.
• Fill all the cracks. While you're looking for ants outside, if you see some, pay attention to how they are getting in so you can block that opening off with some caulk. Even if you didn't see any ants out there, you'll want to look for openings anyway. They got in there somehow, and once you get this black ant infestation under control, you'll want to avoid future ones. So walk around out there with your caulking gun and fill any cracks in the foundation along with any openings that may have been created from bringing in electrical wires, cables, phone lines, plumbing, etc.
• Find and remove any debris. While little black ants do sometimes live in your home, more often than not they have a nest outside somewhere and are just using your home as a food shelf. Outside the home, look for and remove any decent sized rocks, logs, pavers, stepping stones, stumps, mulch, and anything else that looks like something black ants might like to live under. It's also a good idea to trim back tree and shrub branches that are up against the house. Black ants will sometimes use these to get to your house.
• Stop using insecticide sprays on the ants. It kills them too quickly and the nest just goes on. The queens will only lay more eggs. And parts of the ant colony may move to another part of your property, multiplying the problem. Instead, eliminate the source. Destroy outside nests, remove bushes that are close to the house and of course, use CEDAR-AL cedar oil in a variety of ways to bring enjoyment and health to you and your loved one, see the article How To Use for ideas.
• You may douse cotton balls or strips of cloth and tack them around your closet floors to deter moths as well as in a corner of your kitchen counter and under your kitchen sink to discourage ants from coming into your food preparation area. And remember to wipe down cupboards and window sills with a cloth saturated with the cedar oil as well.