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Ant Alert: How to Protect Your Home from Black Ants

Black ants, commonly referred to as garden ants or “Lasius niger” in the scientific community, are a familiar sight across the UK, especially during the warmer months.Though these tiny explorers are less a threat to health, they can become a real nuisance when they invade our homes and gardens in search of food.Understanding their behaviour and knowing effective control methods is key to keeping these unwelcome guests at bay. Here’s what you need to know about black ants and how to manage them effectively.

Understanding Black Ants

Black ants are small, typically measuring between 3 to 5 mm in length, and are predominantly found outdoors. They build their nests in soil, under stones, or in cracks in walls. These industrious insects are known for their structured colonies, which can contain thousands of individuals, including workers, males, and the queen.

The main reason black ants enter homes is in search of food, particularly sweet substances. However, they’re also attracted to greasy foods, meats, and bread. Once a food source is located, ants leave a pheromone trail for others to follow, which is why you often see them marching in a line.

Prevention Tips

Preventing an ant infestation is always easier than dealing with one. Here are some effective tips to keep black ants at bay:

  • Keep It Clean: Regularly clean floors, countertops, and cabinets to remove food residues and spills.
  • Secure Food Sources: Store food in airtight containers and keep ripe fruit in the fridge.
  • Block Entry Points: Seal cracks and crevices around doors, windows, and other entry points to prevent ants from entering.
  • Maintain the Garden: Keep plants and shrubbery trimmed away from your house, and manage compost piles to avoid attracting ants.

Black ants fight. Warriors for survivalControl Measures

If prevention efforts fall short and you find yourself facing an ant invasion, there are several tactics you might employ to manage the situation:

  • Bait Stations: The ants carry the bait back to their nest, which may eventually reach the queen and help to eliminate the colony.  However, this method does not always prove to be effective for several reasons, e.g., incorrect placement, incorrect bait type (often due to pest misidentification), insufficient bait stations, ant colony structure, competition from other food sources, and ants developing aversion to bait.
  • Boiling Water: Pouring boiling water into the entrance of an ant nest can be effective if it reaches the queen.
  • Professional Pest Control: For persistent or large-scale infestations, it is advisable to contact a professional pest control service who can provide more comprehensive solutions, including targeted treatments and advice for preventing future infestations.

While black ants are generally harmless, their presence in large numbers can be a nuisance. By understanding their behaviour and implementing preventative measures, you can significantly reduce the chances of an ant infestation in your home. Remember, the key to effective ant control is not just to eliminate the ones you see but to target their source—the nest.

Black ant on a leave workingReady to Reclaim Your Home from Black Ants?

If the battle against these persistent pests feels overwhelming, it’s time to call in the experts. At Avon Pest Control we tackle ant problems of all sizes, ensuring your home remains a comfortable ant-free zone. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discover how we can help you achieve lasting relief from black ants.

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