Every ant species is characterized by a particular habitat, diet, appearance, and a few other features that make it easy to identify as black garden ants with black bodies and living in gardens.
What is a Black Garden Ant? A black garden ant is also known as Lasius niger and pavement ant due to their habitat as they prefer to live in the gaps between brickwork and around flower beds in the garden. They have black or brown body and are 8 to 14mm long. They like to eat insects and sweet food produced by sap-sucking insects. Furthermore, these harmless ants can live for almost 1.5 to 2 years.
It is not difficult to identify these ants as you can see them moving randomly in the gardens and lose to the buildings.
Facts About Black Garden Ant
|Scientific name||Lasius niger|
|Common names||Pavement ant or common house ant|
|Length of body||8 to 14 mm|
|Color of body||Black or brown|
|Habitat||Under wooden logs, brickwork, flower beds|
|Dietary habits||Sweet food, Nectar, Insects|
|Distribution||North and South America|
|Size of colony||3000 to 35000|
|Lifespan||1.5 to 2 years|
What are the common names of a black garden ant?
There is only one scientific name for every organism used worldwide to identify a particular species.
Accordingly, the black garden ant is known as Lasius niger which denotes a particular species of ants commonly present in backyards and gardens.
These are also known as pavement ants and are named according to their location. You can find them living under paving stones or in narrow spaces between bricks.
Moreover, it is a common black ant or a common house ant present in the gardens that can also be seen inside buildings.
Furthermore, these include little black ants and western carpenter ants that are slightly bigger in size and found around the home.
What does a black garden ant look like?
The black garden ants are usually black, but a few of them can also have shiny dark brown body colors. They have winged queens and male members, while workers are wingless.
Moreover, their legs are dark red, and their abdominal area is covered with golden hair. They are almost 3 to 6 mm long, while the queens have larger bodies and are nearly 8 to 14 mm long.
The black carpenter ants have a larger thorax and are around 1 to 1.2 cm long, while the queen is around 10 to 20mm long.
Their workers are small compared to queens and have nipped in the waist, but the winged adults are bigger and appear brownish.
Furthermore, they have larger heads with elbowed antennae and abdominal hair. These insects do not have a stinger which makes them less harmful.
Where does the black garden ant live?
The black garden ants are commonly found in North and South America, Arizona, and Idaho. Some of their species are located in the southern part of California and Europe.
In addition, you can find them living outdoors, like in a garden, but they can also live inside buildings once they have found a suitable spot.
They prefer habitats like wooden logs or timbers and build their nests in the humus and dry soil areas. You can also find them roaming around flower beds as they build mounds in lawns.
Moreover, their target is ground vegetation when they have to forage for food and even disturb the roots of plants.
You can probably see them in gardens or close to the roots of decaying plants and hanging out on window sills or kitchen cabinets.
What do black garden ants eat?
The black garden eats prefer to eat sweet food items rich in carbohydrates and proteins.
They like to eat bread crumbs, fruits, sweet cakes, or related items that are usually present in the kitchens. Moreover, they can feed on insects living or dead, and seeds full of nutrition.
They build a mutual relationship with the insects like aphids, caterpillars, and the insects consuming plant sap as they produce sugary secretions, which are consumed as food.
These are nocturnal, and foragers work day and night to collect the food and feed their larvae and queens. Furthermore, they can also get nutrition from oily food, vegetables, and meat.
How long do black garden ants live?
The winged male is a short-lived member in an ant colony as they remain alive until mating time and die after mating with reproductive females.
Moreover, the workers do not live for long compared to queens, as they can only survive for 1.5 to 2 years, depending on the living conditions.
They can complete their estimated lifespan if the environmental conditions are supportive of them, and they do not have to suffer from nutrition deficiency and get proper shelter.
However, the queens have longer lifespans and complete almost 20 to 25 years of their life in the nest, which is the longest lifespan observed in eusocial insects.
They have an increased lifespan as they have less risk of a predator attack and no stress from physical activities like food collection and other nest activities.
Furthermore, the queens spend their lives within a nest, and workers are responsible for caring for them; that’s why they can live more than other members.
What is the colony size of a black garden ant?
They have large colonies based on thousands of members, including reproductive males, females, and sterile workers.
The colony size of black garden ants is almost 25000 to 35000, but it rarely happens when multiple colonies of these insects get merged together.
Most commonly, you can see colonies having 3000 to 7000 members living together in a common place and sharing the workload to ensure the survival of their colonies.
Furthermore, they can have more than one queen, which rarely occurs in the ant colonies as multiple queens can produce more eggs and maintain colonies.
When do black garden ants mate?
The mating behavior of black garden ants is commonly seen in July and August, as they prefer to breed in the summer season.
You can find the larger winged females and smaller winged males engaged in nuptial flight for mating purposes.
Moreover, they depend on climatic conditions, and flying ants emerge from their nests when they find suitable weather.
They can get higher in the sky for mating when a male chases the queen. She lands on a different site, sheds her wing to get nutrition, and gives rise to a new colony.
Are black garden ants dangerous?
The black garden ants are not dangerous because they lack a stinger that makes them unable to sting deep in the skin.
In addition, they do not bite and avoid releasing formic acid on the skin. Their jaws are not strong enough to cross the skin barrier, which makes them harmless.
They can be annoying pests in homes but do not pose any danger. However, the black carpenter ants can inject toxins and induce a burning sensation after biting.
Furthermore, they can be beneficial as they can aerate the soil and control the population of deadly insects living around the house.