Like us, you might also be curious about how long black ants live. So, we have conducted thorough research to know the answer to that question and feed our curiosity about black ants.
Common black ants are also known as black garden ants or, for their scientific name, Lasius niger. A black ant queen can live for up to 29 years. Black garden ant workers, on the other hand, can live at least four years under laboratory conditions but can extend up to 15 years.
Carpenter ants can live for seven up to 10 years. And little black ant workers can live up to four months in a laboratory, and the queen may live approximately one year.
To know more about black ants, we encourage you to keep reading. We have gathered so much information on our research, and we want to share them all with you.
How Long Is An Average Lifespan Of Black Ants
The lifespan of black ants will depend upon a few factors. And those essential factors are:
- The ant species; carpenter ants, little black ants, black garden ants
- Environmental elements
- Ant caste; queen, males, and females.
What Is A Caste System?
The community of black ants splits into a caste system; the queen ant, males, and sterile females. Each of these castes has its objective in the colony. Additionally, their purpose to the colony is what adjusts their lifespan.
The lifespan of a queen is way too long compared to the males and females. The reason is that it would be challenging to deal with their large numbers. However, Mother Nature has already planned for everything, so each ant caste has its lifespan.
The purpose of the existence of male ants is to only mate with the queen. And that is the reason why they have the shortest lifespan.
A male ant lives only for one week or longer after breeding with the queen, regardless of their species. So, please expect that the average longevity of male ants from their birth to death is only a couple of weeks.
Lastly, the most considerable portion of the colony is the sterile female ants. We also know them as workers. The queen ant gives birth to the females to gather food, and they are born sterile to avoid unneeded reproduction.
Their primary responsibility is to sustain and protect the colony, collect food and meet the necessities of the queen ant and larvae. In good living conditions, the life expectancy of female ants can range from a few weeks to a few months. However, there have been circumstances where female ants have lived for a couple of years.
How Many Black Ants Are There In A Colony?
Black ants colonies can grow around 40,000 workers on rare chances. The average number of black ant colonies is around 4,000 to 7,000. A black ant queen can live for up to 29 years. And that 29 years is the most extended documented lifespan for any eusocial insect.
In the early stages of nesting, black ant queens may have two to three other queens in the nest.
The process is that they will accept each other until the first workers arrive, at which point they will most likely clash until only one queen stays. However, ant workers under laboratory watch can live at least four years.
Two Main Types Of Black Ants
There are two major types of black ants. If not correctly handled and controlled, you can see them almost everywhere that you may consider pests.
1. Big Black Ants or Carpenter Ants
The big black ants or carpenter ants are the most common large black ants you encounter. The western black carpenter ant is present in states like Idaho and Arizona and on the West Coast.
Carpenter Ants Characteristics:
- The size of the workers is 1/4 to 1/2 inches in length. In contrast, the queens are about 3/4 inches in length.
- When it comes to their color, they are black with dark red legs. And you will notice that they have golden hairs on their abdomen.
- The habitat they live in is on wooden structures and deadwood.
These big black ants consume proteins and carbohydrates. They have insects constituting a significant portion of their diet. Termites ingest wood, but these big black ants excavate it to make nests.
The primary nest of a black carpenter ant is on outdoors. They are usually in timbers and trees, but you can also find their nests inside insulation.
In general, carpenter ants are a nocturnal type.
Because big black ants are usually nocturnal, you will presumably discover their frass before you can even locate them. Big black ants may be present inside your home during the winter because their nest might be indoors.
And because carpenter ants can cause property damage, you should contact pest control operators immediately so that any problems do not worsen.
2. Little Black Ants
These little black ants got this as their name because they are indeed black and pretty small. You can see this type of ant in the Eastern United States. You can even find lots of them in the San Francisco Bay Area and California's southern part.
Little Black Ants Characteristics
- The size of the little black ant workers is about 1/16 inches in length, and the queens are 1/8 inches in length.
- The color of little black ants is either dark brown or black
- This type of ant typically lives outside. However, they nest indoors.
Little black ants consume both live and dead insects. In addition to that, they also eat feces of scales and aphids, oil, sweets, grease, meats, and veggies.
Moreover, these little black ants will enter your home via any small space or crevice as they travel in their colony in hunt of food, and if they can find supplies of water and food inside your home, they will surely stay for a while.
When it comes to deciding where to live, these ants will go where food is available. And outdoors, little black ants live in dark, protected locations underneath stones, debris, and decomposing trees. These ants may also make your lawn or garden their temporary home.
Additionally, they can make their nests inside your home, typically on wall voids, insulation, or under the carpets. Little black ants prefer to congregate in kitchen cabinets and on window sills, where they can easily find food.
How Do The Bites And Stings Of Black Ants Feel?
It is good that black ants do not present any threat when they bite humans. Yes, little black ants contain a stinger. However, those stingers are not huge enough to harm humans. These tiny pests are nothing more than an annoyance in your home, but rest assured that they are harmless.
On the other hand, carpenter ants can cause a searing sensation with their bites because they can inject formic acid. But the good thing is that big black ant bites are also not dangerous.
The area where the carpenter ant bit you may turn red, but it should not be painful. However, reach a medical professional immediately if you feel a sore or unusual response to an ant bite or sting.
What Are The Black Ants With Wings?
Some black ants contain wings, and while they will not sting or bite you, you should be worried if you notice them around your area. These black ants that have wings are carpenter ants that have already matured.
An ant colony will create ants with wings if a black ant nest has developed too much and become overpopulated. After they grow wings, they will then fly out to establish a new nest near the area or wherever they can find a suitable location. They most likely build new nests in moist wood in or near your kitchen or bathroom.
The big black ants swarm in the late afternoon, but swarmers may not emerge in a colony for several years. And if you witness a swarm of ants inside your home, a mature big black ant nest in or near your area. So, to resolve issues, it would be best to contact a pest control expert.
How To Get Rid Of Black Ants
Simply put, ants do not need to be in a home or business areas. Instead of attempting to stop the pests on your own, it is best to seek the assistance of someone who is expert in ant control. The pest control expert will utilize a method that eliminates the ants completely.
Although methods differ, ant control may comprise a border treatment and spot treatment inside, if necessary, in ant activity areas.
Most of the pest control experts will assist you in understanding how to prevent those stubborn black ants from coming back. However, you should know that there are things and methods you can do yourself to get rid of those black ants in your home.
How To Avoid Big Black Ants or Carpenter Ants
- Trim all the branches of trees that are near your home. Doing this will keep the tree branches from touching your house.
- As much as possible, keep firewood away from your home and off the ground.
How To Prevent Little Black Ants
- Clean up to practice good housekeeping.
- Wash up any food spills in your home
- It would be best to seal any gaps, cracks, or openings in your foundation near doorways or entry points to keep the little black ants out.
Wrap It All Up
Now that you know how long black ants live, you might want to consider getting rid of them before they get to annoy you. It would be best to take immediate measures for these tiny pests.
We hope you find this post helpful. If you have any questions, leave a comment below. But before you go, you might want to check this post out!