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Information and Advice About Ants

Ant Image 01Fact Sheet: Common Black Ants

Identification:

Worker ants are typically between 3mm and 4mm long, brown or black in colour, with biting mouthparts and jointed antennae. Queen ants tend to be much larger at up to 10mm long.

Life Cycle:

Common or garden ant species' nests are usually found in flower beds, lawns, beneath paving stones and at wall bases. Worker ants may invade buildings in search of food, with a particular preference for sugary substances.

On a couple of warm evenings in summer, winged Queens and males leave the nest and take flight to mate. The mated, winged female then digs into the earth to wait out the winter, and a new colony will begin there in the spring.

Treatment: 

Where possible, the trail of worker ants should be traced back to the nest. If it is safe to expose the nest itself, an insecticide powder may be applied directly. If it is not possible to trace or access the nest, an insecticidal lacquer treatment can act as a lasting barrier at the apparent points of entry to the building, or another residual insecticide spray may be used to treat the exterior. 

Pay special attention to likely entry points when completing the treatment, such as door frames, waste pipes and air bricks, in order to create an effective barrier against re-entry. In the case of established infestation, repeat the treatment two to three weeks. Incidental appearances by ants in between treatments can be dealt with using a low-toxicity or natural product such as Protector C or Oa2ki.

 

Fact Sheet: Tropical Ant Species, e.g. Pharaoh's Ants 

Please note, regular insecticides should not be used to treat Tropical Ant infestations - they can make the problem worse!

Ant Image 02Identification:

Pharaoh ant workers are between 1.5mm and 2mm in length and of a yellow-or golden-brown colour, sometimes with a brown abdomen. Their antennae have 12 segments, with a triple-segmented 'club' at the end.

Biology:

Worker ants are a nuisance as they forage widely for food and water, marking trails with scent for each other to follow. Pharaoh ants are omnivorous, but they have a preference for foods that are high in protein, feeding on meat, fats, cheese, honey, sugar, jam, sweets, etc. Pharaohs ants pose a risk to health, by contaminating food in this way.

Control: 

Tropical Ants must be treated against in a completely different way to common, garden or black ants. Treatment with ordinary insecticidal sprays can splinter colonies, making the problem worse. There is currently no effective product available for retail to consumers.

It is advisable to consult a reputable pest control company for advice and/or professional treatment.