Pest Control News

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Black Garden Ants

Garden Ants

As the warmer weather arrives, garden ants will begin to emerge. They are on the search for food. The size of these ant nests can vary from 100s of ants to many 1000s of ants, depending on how long the nest has been there and how many queens there are in the colony. Multiple queens in a colony is dependent on the species of the ant. 

A nest of ants is most likely to be found in your garden; in soil, under stones, in rotten wood, under roots or in the sand under paving slabs. Most of the time, ants are happy to live outside however they will enter a home in search for food, particularly sugary foods. 

In the UK, you are most likely to see Black Garden Ants. These are;
Þ    Small, around 3mm in size
Þ    A dark glossy black in colouring
Þ    Female worker ants do not have wings
Þ    Male ants do have wings
Þ    They have 6 legs and 2 antennae


Ants are very curious and will go on the search over large distances to find food sources. Typically, outside they will eat rotting fruits and nectar for the sugary content, but they are also known to eat some insects too. They actually farm aphids due to the honeydew that they produce which is a favourite source of food. If food sources are getting low, black ants will begin to look further afield from their nest. In doing so, the female worker ants are able to communicate to each other by emitting a pheromone trail which is why you will see them walking in a ‘follow the leader’ formation. 

They are likely to gain access into your home through gaps under doors and window seals, as well as using pipes sometimes. They are most likely to be found in the kitchen as there are food sources readily available to them although they can also be found in bathrooms as well. 

Tips to avoid ants entering your home;
Þ    Clean up always
-Keeping your kitchen clean from any food debris is key as well as any drinks spillages. Regular cleaning of kitchen counters, flooring, under fridges and cookers can really help. 
Þ    Keep food items sealed
-Keeping any food items in sealed containers is best practice to keep these pests away.
Þ    Dry conditions are best
-Ants like moisture, so removing any spillages in the kitchen can help. Also checking for any dampness around the home, especially in the bathroom.
Þ    Pick up pet food from the floor
-Although not a usual food source for ants, they can be attracted to pet food so we suggest removing your pets food from the floor once they have finished eating rather than leaving it out all day or all night.
Þ    Inspect your garden
-We suggest keeping an eye out for any ant trails near your doors or windows. It is likely that you have an ants nest nearby in the garden. By following the trail of ants, you will likely be able to locate the nest. 

If you are having problems with ants and think you may require some help, please give us a call. We can offer advice and our services to make sure you are pest free!