Black Ants vs. Red Ants: What’s the Difference?

You’d think there are only two kinds of ants – the red ants and the black ants. But you’d be surprised to know that there are actually more than 12,000 species of ants known to exist today and each type has its own unique qualities. But because ants are tiny critters, most people just see the obvious differences, such as their color. 

Here’s what you need to know about black ants and red ants, and what you can do to get rid of them.

Black Ants

The term “black ants” is quite generalized since most ants you see are black. There are many species of ants have the black color and you need to examine them with a microscope to see body structure and count antennae segments. However, there is indeed a little black ant scientifically known as Monomorium minimum and they tend to appear in the summer.

Black ants may get inside your home searching for water, food, or shelter, but they normally prefer living outdoors. These resourceful creatures will form colonies in wall and ceiling voids if they are able to get indoors.

Black ants bite as a form of defense but their bites may not be noticeable. These little back ants don’t have a lot of punch with their bite and they also don’t sting.

To get rid of black ants, you can use any of these two methods:

1. Clean your kitchen thoroughly. Get rid of crumbs and spills, and food needs to be stored properly. 

2. Use bait to kill the ants. Obviously you can’t kill them one by one as they come in thousands. Get to their colonies and spray it with pesticide.

Red Ants

In general, the red ants you see are usually fire ants. These fire ants are medium size and can grow up to ¼ inch long. They have an aggressive nature and will attack when their nest is disturbed.

Fire ants prefer warmer climates, so you will usually see them in southern states.  Fire ants tend to nest in soil, irrigated lawns as well as along the edges of ponds and riverbanks. 

Fire ants, just like black ants, bite when they feel threatened. The bite itself does not hurt but their sting is what will actually hurt you. So they will first bite you and hold onto your skin with their mandibles and release their stinger causing a burning and painful sensation.

To get rid of a few fire ants, you can use bait traps and making sure your kitchen or any area in your house does not have any food crumbs and spills. However, if you see a lot of fire ants or black ants for that matter, it may be best to call in a professional exterminator like ABC Pest Control.

Red ants can be dangerous to humans and pets so it would be a good idea to leave the job to the experts who can perform a thorough assessment of the situation and find the colonies inside your home as well as around your property.

Category: Tips