Black House Ant

Classification
Species category: Ant
Scientific Name: Paratrechina longicornis

Description
A small ant species with an intensely-black colour. It has a prominent petiole which distinguishes it from the white-footed ant. This ant measures 2.5mm and is slightly smaller and stockier than the white-footed variety.

An Australasian native, they are found in rural and urban areas and are very prevalent in India.

They are often a pest of domestic environments and will build their nest in cracks or gaps, beside pathways. They generally enter the home in search of food.

Like other ant species, they will nest underground and also in voids, for e.g. roof voids or wall cavities.

Behaviour
They have a preference for sugary liquids and will tend to aphids and other bugs on domestic plants in order to feed off their sweet secretions. However, this species also feed on seeds and plants so can be a pest in stored food facilities.

They navigate away from and to the nest in trails. Follow the trail to find the nest. They will also swarm during the nuptial flight, which can be distressing for a building’s inhabitants.

Risks
This ant is considered more of a nuisance than a very destructive pest. It can encourage aphid growth which leads to extensive plant damage.

It’s also an expert at creating nests in difficult to spot cracks and crevices, making colony elimination a tricky task. There can be more than one queen in the colony and reproduction is fast.

The Black Ant causes primary damage to foods. It also contaminates areas with faeces and when it disposes of ‘rubbish’ from the nest – this is typically body parts of dead colony members.

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