The Common Black Ant or Garden Ant (Lasius niger) is the most known to us in the UK, varying in size between 3 – 5 mm long. We see them enter our homes and gardens, compost bins, nesting under pavements, in soil and along edges of our lawns. They will pretty much get into everywhere and become quite a nuisance as they forage for food.
A Colony can grow up to the size of 40,000 workers. They will eat insects, even bodies of other ants, nectar and other sugary substances, leaving a pheromone trail for other ants to find a meal. Once an Ant Colony moves into your home and garden, it will be a real challenge to get rid of them. Dealing with an ant infestation should be dealt with as soon as it occurs otherwise it will be even harder to eliminate them.
Certain times of the year you will see Winged Ants emerging in great numbers (billions) during humid and warmer weather in the Summer. These winged Ants will take to the sky to mate. Soon after mating, the males will die and the young Queens will seek suitable places to establish their new nests. The Queen will lay her eggs in a safe hiding place, that’s if she hasn’t been killed off by rival colonies. The eggs will hatch into fertile female workers. They will build her nest, guard their Queen and forage for food.
There are many types of nests found in the UK. Ants prefer to make their nests in moist soil as it is easier for them to excavate than other types of materials. Worker ants dig tunnels and chambers, or rooms, in the soil. As the colony grows, workers add more tunnels and chambers to the nest. The chambers in the nest will have different uses. The Queen Ant will have her own chamber where she will lay her eggs. Some other chambers are nurseries for the young and others to store food. There are even chambers for the hard working ants to have a rest!
However, some European Wood Ants will build upwards. They will build very large mounds that can be up to 1.5 meters tall. Some groups of nests can cover an area as large as a tennis court and will house millions of ants.
Most householders attempt to control ants, only to find they are temporary solutions. From boiling water to Insecticides, these must be used with care. Understanding the ant population and finding all entry points into your home and garden is necessary when attempting to deal with an infestation. Again, attempts may only be a short term answer. Domestic insecticides are made of low dosages and are not always effective. There are often too many ants in one nest and it will be extremely difficult to eradicate the whole colony and you will see your ant problem reoccur.
We would love to talk to you if you have a problem with the Common Black Ant or any other species of Ant. At Lawnscience our Technicians are Specialists and are fully trained using the correct safety equipment to deal with Ant Nests. We will use a treatment which consists of a liquid insecticide which is applied directly into the nest entrance or on the trails left by worker ants using bait stations. It takes approximately 10 to 14 days for the insecticide to do its job.
It is important to remember that Ants can carry bacteria, which is harmful to us humans. They are also known to contract Salmonella which could become widespread throughout your home and onto your food.- If you have an Ant problem Get professional help NOW…..your local lawn care technician can advise you on the best treatments available to you.
See more information on ANT, WASP OR MOLE CONTROL HERE