Pest Control News

Friday, 10 July 2020

Black Garden Ants

Black Garden Ants


There are thousands of different species of ant across the world. In the UK, we have around 50 different species. Everyone is familiar with what an ant ‘looks like’, however very few people know that there are so many different types. The most common species you are likely to come across is the Black Garden Ant.

Black garden ants, as their name suggests, are black or dark brown in colouring. Worker ants are around 4mm in length and queens can be a large as 15mm in length. They have 6 legs and 2 antennae. They are quick moving and resilient. They have jaws to attack predators or defend their nest, although their jaw is not strong enough to pierce human skin. They are more likely to run away from you.

Workers are responsible for maintaining and building the nest, as well as foraging for food and looking after the larvae once the eggs hatch. The queen’s only role is to produce as many eggs as possible. Males are not typically produced until later on in the summer season so they can mate. Their life span is pretty short, as after mating, the males will die.

Ant typically enjoy warm climates; this is why we do not have many species in the UK that can survive the outside elements. Though the garden ant is the hardiest of our native species, they will typically nest where there is the most sunshine during the summer days. You are likely to find ants nests in your garden, under paving slabs, under decking, and sometimes even under your grass. Colonies can reach up to 15000 workers if left undisturbed in a prime location, and a good consistent source of food.

Food is extremely important to ant colonies, not only to keep the worker force strong, but also to maintain the queen so she is able to lay as many eggs as possible. Worker ants are great at foraging for new and exciting food sources. They are able to leave prominent trails for other worker ants to follow in order to gather as much food as possible for the colony. Ants are not particularly fussy in terms of what they eat; insects, dead ants, high protein foods. They also have a sweet tooth. They prefer sweetness, so nectar and fruits are top picks. 

For the summer months, there is nothing better than having your windows and doors open to enjoy the warm weather. But it is important to be mindful that this invites ants into your home. This is why it is good practice to make sure to mop and clean up any spills as soon as they happen, keep kitchen sides and floors clean and tidy too. Make sure to clean out your bin regularly and throw away any old or rotting fruit.

Don’t suffer in silence. If you think you have an ant problem, please give us a call today!

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