Ants Pest Control
Ant Pest Control Description
There are two species of ant commonly encountered in the UK:
- The Garden or Black ant (Lasius niger)
- The Pharaoh’s ant (Monomorium pharaonis)
The Garden Ant has a black segmented body, the workers are 3- 5mm in length and the queen is about 15mm long and brown in colour. Their nests are found in soil, lawns and close to buildings.
The Pharaoh’s Ant, which is of tropical origin, is a smaller species; the workers are only 2mm long, the queen 5mm long and both are yellow brown in colour, sometimes with a darker abdomen.
The Garden Ant is found throughout Britain and will nest in gardens and around buildings often entering premises in search of food. The Pharaoh’s Ant by contrast requires a very warm environment and has adapted itself to life in large heated buildings such as hospitals, hotels and flats.
The Garden Ant is a nuisance because of its foraging habit but it does not carry germs or spread disease. Garden ants are attracted to sugary food; the presence of ants in food although unpleasant, does not in itself constitute a health risk.
Pharaoh’s ants are of greater significance as they carry harmful germs which they pick up when feeding on decomposing food, faecal matter and when coming into contact with drains and hospital dressings. They are a particular problem in hospitals and are difficult to eradicate.
Garden ants mate in flight when winged males and females swarm between mid-July and mid-September.
After mating the male dies and the female loses her wings and buries herself in the soil over the winter. In late spring the female lays eggs which hatch into white larvae in 3-4 weeks. The larvae are fed by the queen and when fully grown pupate. The worker ants which emerge from the pupae feed new larvae and the queen.
The life cycle is complete in two months and, in favourable conditions, the nest may persist for several years. In contrast, the Pharaoh’s ant develops several colonies within each nest with many queens. As the old nest becomes overcrowded, new colonies are formed by eggs and larvae carried by adults and workers. The life cycle is the same as that of the Garden ant but the Pharaoh’s ant, which favours heated buildings, is not affected by seasonal changes. The ants’ ability to form many colonies make them difficult to control.
Nests in soil can be far more extensive than the area around the surface and an effective treatment is professional spraying although where possible it is best to leave nest sites alone and call in APC on the number below. Messing with the nests or trying to treat the problem yourselves can result in bigger problems a spread of the ants. Modern techniques using specially designed ant baits are very effective when professionally applied with the added benefit that they reduce the risk to non target insects.
So if you have an ant (or other pest problem) please do call us on 01242 517237 or click on Action Pest Control. to discuss the most effective solution to your needs, or to make an appointment. No obligation. We really care about what we do and are actually pretty good at it too- please see our referrals!