What are they?
There are 41 different species of ant living in the UK. The one that causes most problems for people is the garden or black ant (Lasius Niger), which is 3.5 to 5mm long and dark brown to black in colour. Black ants usually nest outdoors and in lawns, flower beds, under paving stones, and in walls. Although they are not a health hazard, they can be a nuisance as they can find their way into homes in large numbers. They enter homes in search of sweet foods, getting in through small gaps in masonry, doors and windows.
Ants are not just pests. They also feed off insects and act as scavengers in the garden.
The queen ant lays eggs in late spring which hatch into larvae after 3-4 weeks. She rears the larvae for three weeks after which they pupate. From the pupae emerge the first brood of worker ants which forage for food and tend subsequent broods.
Winged male and female ants emerge between July and August and mating takes place on the wing during this time, after which the males die. The mated females shed their wings and dig a cell in the soil where they stay until the following Spring.
Can I treat them?
You can treat ants yourself with crawling insect insecticide. Apply a residual insecticide* to the entrance of the nest and wherever ants have entered your home. Inside your house, you should put insecticide behind the sink unit, skirting boards, around doors window frames, waste pipes and other pipes, trying to create a band of insecticide over which the ants would have to cross to enter your home. Make sure you also apply the insecticide to small cracks and crevices as .Ants can get through very small gaps.
To make sure you get rid of problem ants you will need to find their nest. Follow the ant trails and look for small entrance holes in the ground surrounded by small piles of fine earth. Once you have found the nest, follow the instructions on the insecticide about dealing with ants’ nests.
*Always refer to the product instructions BEFORE use and follow these at ALL times.
Last Updated on Thursday, December 5, 2019