Pest Issues

Black House Ants – How to Get Rid of Them

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The moment most people notice a black ant in their kitchen, “Ride of the Valkyries” begins playing in their heads. With a few swift movements, they begin dispatching the tiny invaders one by one. This strategy is about as effective as trying to clean the dust off your shelves by removing each speck. Even though it’s a natural reaction, allow us to share some better strategies. Here’s how you get rid of black ants in your home.

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How to get rid of black ants

Australian black ants can be particularly annoying. With the average number of workers around 4-7 thousand and a queen that can live up to 30 years, you can have a severe infestation on your hands. Don’t worry, here’s what you can do to deal with it:

1. Identify the source of the infestation.

Ants don’t spontaneously show up in your home because they have nothing better to do. If you find ants in your kitchen, they’re there to facilitate the survival of their colony. They’re foraging for food or looking for water. Because they use chemicals to mark their pathways, you can easily detect where they come from. It’s usually the last place you’d figure, like under the kitchen sink or other moist spaces, like under the door. Whatever the source is, find it and try to seal it.

2. Clean the house thoroughly.

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you can’t keep your place spotless. This is usually the time pests appear to remind you why you should. Ensure you clean the entire house top to bottom thoroughly (or hire a cleaner if you don’t feel like it or don’t have the time). This is one way to discourage future black ant visits (for a while). The thorough cleaning usually dissipates their chemical trails, making it harder for them to get back to your house (think “Hansel and Gretel”, but if there were thousands of them you weren’t planning to eat them).

3. Spray white vinegar along the trail.

The idea is white vinegar will act as a deterrent. It’s useful in some cases, not so much in others. You can still give it a try, especially if you find where the ants are coming in.

4. Use cinnamon at the entry points.

Cinnamon is a natural deterrent that helps with some species. It’s not a guarantee, but it’s another harmless method you can try before you get to the heavy stuff.

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DIY black ant extermination methods

In case you’re the kind of person who wants to do everything on their own, here are some DIY black ant extermination methods:

Sugar and borax

This is a deadly combination. The sugar attracts the ants, and the borax deals with them. Permanently (at least the ones that come into contact with it). If you’re lucky, they might even bring some to the nest and do even more damage to the colony. Note: if you have pets or kids, mix this with a bit of water. Use pieces of cotton to absorb some of the mixture and place around the black ants’ path. If you’re fortunate, they will bring the cotton to their nests.

Baits or slow-acting poisons

You’ve tried the steps above, but they’ve just delayed the inevitable. Fear not – the game isn’t over, yet. The battle has just begun. The next step is to use a “Trojan horse” – devious, yes, but also quite effective. Use a bait they will bring to the nest, which will poison the queen. The thing is, the queen is the most crucial part of the colony. Without her, there is no colony. Even if you kill every single ant you encounter, more will come. But if you manage to kill the queen (or have the other ants inadvertently kill the queen), then the colony is finished, and they will leave you alone.

Natural solutions if you want to avoid pesticides

If you have a reason to avoid chemicals, there are also natural remedies you can try. One of them is boric acid. The other is diatomaceous earth freely sprinkled where ants may pass by.

Not sure how to get rid of the black ants? We can help you!

Schedule a professional pest controller visit to help you fight your black ant problem.

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Appearance of the black ant

Black Ants

(Ochetellus glaber)

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  • Queens are mid-brown, while workers are dark brown to black.
  • Workers black ants are around three to five millimetres in length.
  • Queen black ants can grow up to 15mm in size.

Queen black ants are characterised by their two pairs of wings, which she removes once they mate. The wings are also used as nutrition over the winter months.

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Roles and behaviour of black ants

Black ants have a traditional social structure. There are three distinct castes:


The queen is the only fertile female ant. Contrary to popular belief, she has very little power over the happenings of the colony. She doesn’t “control” other ants. The queen’s only function is to reproduce. That’s her importance for the colony and why the other ants take such good care of her. Outside of that, she has minimal function. The queens can live up to 30 years.


The drones are male ants whose only function is to mate with the queen, after which they die. They are winged ants and have a very short lifespan.


The workers are responsible for pretty much everything else. They are the ones that maintain the nest, find food, bring it to the nest, guard the nest, expand the nest and whatever else you can think of. This is the reason the queen is so important. With her dead, the colony has no future.

Damages black ants can cause to buildings

Black ants can cause structural damage. Their digging habits can cause shifts in the sands/turf under the house. This is not the best thing that can happen beneath your home.

Aside from that, they can damage wooden foundations if it turns out you’re dealing with carpenter ants. Unlike termites, they don’t eat the wood, but dig inside it and make their colonies there.

This can be just as dangerous as the damage caused by termites, though. Immediate actions need to be undertaken. If you’re not sure what to do, you can always opt for professional ant control.

Not sure how to get rid of the black ants? We can help you!

Schedule a professional pest controller visit to help you fight your black ant problem.

Add a valid postcode e.g. 3000
  • We're certified:


  • Identify the type of ant, that will help you decide how to get rid of them.
  • Remember that black ants can cause property damage, so don’t postpone.
  • You can always contact a professional pest control company, as they’re trained to with any types of ants and crawling insects and other pests.

It can be frustrating to deal with ants

Professional pest controllers can deal with them in no time.

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Have you had problems with black ants before? Comment down below on how you took care of them!

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