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Do Little Black Ants Eat Wood Inside The House Walls?

Updated on: March 31, 2022

Finding a few ants in the kitchen is common, but finding lines of these critters coming out of wall cracks can be unsettling. Although it’s unpleasant, it’s common for most pests and insects to find their way inside the walls if there’s an opening – and one of these common household pests are little black ants.

So do the little black ants inside the house walls eat wood? Like carpenter ants, you might also find little black ants inside of walls that produce frass and sawdust. However, they don’t actually eat the wood there – they excavate through it to make a nest for themselves. 


Why Do Little Black Ants Attack Wood Inside House Walls?

Ant infestations are a nuisance that causes concern and frustration for many homeowners. They’re also one of the most common infestations treated by pest control companies throughout the country and most of them even claim that ant infestations are on the rise.

According to a study by the National Pest Management Association, about 73% of ant infestations are found inside walls of the treated properties all over the United States. These ants cause serious structural damage to the wood inside the walls, so they should be eliminated immediately using the right pest control methods.  

Do Little Black Ants Eat Wood?

Little black ants eat just about anything they find, but they don't actually eat wood inside the house walls. They only produce sawdust and frass when they chew and excrete the wood as they excavate through it to make tunnels and galleries.  

Can Little Black Ants Live in Walls?

Little black ants build their nests in welcoming environments, including the inside of house walls. They create a home there if the area is moist, warm, and near a food source. This is a huge problem because having holes in the walls means other pests can get inside the house too. The damage they left in the wood or walls may also serve as pathways for other insects like termites and carpenter ants.

Finding the entry point for these little black ants is part of good pest control measures. Pest control companies can help you find the critical spots and examine the extent of damage caused by little black ants.  

Why Are Little Black Ants Inside the Walls?

Although little black ant infestations are quite common, some homes are more attractive to these pests than others. Here are a few reasons possible reasons why little black ants choose to camp inside your walls at home:

  1. Moldy Wood Structures – Damp wood makes it easy for ants to burrow through when they build nests inside the wall. You might find these critters inside moist support beams, saturated wall spaces, and soggy porch pillars.
  1. Unsealed Wall Spaces – Little black ants won’t easily get inside the walls if there isn’t a crack already. They exploit holes and gaps damaged by weather, wear and tear, or other pests to dig the wood further inside the house wall voids.
  1. Nearby Food Source – Like other pests, little black ants and carpenter ants have a strong sense of smell that helps them in their search of food sources. The appearance of these critters in the kitchen means there’s a huge chance that their ant colony or nest is just nearby because they always consider their proximity and access to food when building nests inside walls.

What’s the Difference Between Little Black Ants and Carpenter Ants?

Another species of ants that frequently attack wood are carpenter ants. Since some carpenter ants are also black, these two pests are often confused with each other. Telling them apart from each other is crucial in finding the best ant control measure to get rid of the infestation so here are some easy ways to know whether the infestation in the house is caused by little black ants or carpenter ants:

  • Size - Carpenter ants are generally bigger than little black ants. They usually measure up to about ½ inch while little black ants are only ¼ inch or smaller.
  • Color - Little black ants are usually jet black while carpenter ants can also be red, brown, yellow, or orange.
  • Shape - Carpenter ants have rounded thorax, heart-shaped heads, and one body section between the thorax and head. On the other hand, little black ants have uneven-shaped bodies and 2 body sections between their heads and thorax.
  • Wings - Winged carpenter ants have 2 sets of wings but winged little black ants only have one set of wings.

Signs of Little Black Ants Inside House Walls

Before calling a pest control professional to take care of the black ant problem at home, it’s important to identify and confirm their presence first. Watch out for these signs to see if there’s a little black ant nest in the interior or exterior walls:

  • Piles of sawdust, frass, or wood shavings they create when excavating through the wood
  • Ant trails going into the crack of the wall
  • Hollow or scurrying sounds whenever the wood surfaces of the house walls are tapped
  • Ants coming from the electrical sockets
  • Ants coming out of the wall when they’re knocked

Homemade remedies like water and vinegar solutions are effective repellents for most types of ants because they mess with the ant pheromone trail and communication channels. This causes ants to get confused and lose their way back to the nest location. But for large-scale ant problems, it’s better to hire a pest control company for expert extermination services. 

Call PermaKill Exterminating for Your Ant Problems At Home

professional pest control working team owned by Franck Ilnick, Permakill Exterminating

Ant infestations inside house walls can be difficult to deal with so it’s better to leave the job at the hands of a pest management professional like PermaKill Exterminating. Our team of pest experts carefully examines the extent of damage and infestation before recommending the best treatment plan for your property.

Call us now at (973) 584 – 6414 to get a free quote.


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