Ant Pest Control: Ant Hills & Nest Identification; Know Your Ants!

Ant Pest Control: Anthills & Nest Identification; Know Your Ants!

A huge anthill in a garden.

What’s the difference between Brown Ants, Black Ants, and Yellow Meadow Ants? This may sound like the start of a joke, but if ants are causing you problems at work or at home, you will know it is no laughing matter.

Why are Ants Considered Pests?

As many ant species are attracted to sweet foods they can often make their way into our gardens and homes to forage for sugary food.  This can cause a nuisance as they contaminate food and kitchen surfaces.  Specific ant species behave differently, therefore Avon Pest Control recommend identifying which type of little invader is causing you trouble, so that you can know the best way to manage and treat them.

Ant Identification

There are over 10,000 known ant species in the world, around 50 of which can be found in the UK. Correct identification is required to select the appropriate treatment; therefore, Avon Pest Control have created this helpful guide to assist you with classification

1. Black Ant (Lasius Niger)

The Black Ant is the most common species found in the UK.

Length: Worker ants are around 4-6mm, considerably smaller than the queen which can reach up to 15mm.

Colour: Dark brown black.  Flying adults are browner in colour

When to see: March to October.  Winged fertile males and females can be spotted in nuptial flights, which occur between July and August.

Defining features: Black Ants have 1 small segment at the pedicel (waist), do not sting, and are usually found in large numbers.  Nests contain a solitary queen and around 5,000 to 15,000 worker ants.

A close up of a black ant.

Black ant

2. Yellow Meadow Ant (Lasius Flavus)

The Yellow Meadow Ant is particularly common in Southern England.

Length: 2-4mm.

Colour: Yellowy brown

When to see: All year.  Winged fertile males and females can be spotted in nuptial flights, which occur between July and August https://www.naturespot.org.uk/species/yellow-meadow-ant

Defining features: Yellow ants often create anthills in grassland and gardens if lawns are not cut very often.  The lower sections of the antennae and tibiae are hairless.

Brown ant

Brown ant

3. Brown Ant (Lasius Brunneus)

Brown Ants are an emerging pest in the UK, particularly in the Midland area. They were first discovered to have a presence in the UK in Gloucestershire in 2009 and are one to watch as it is felt they are likely to spread.

Length: 3-6mm

Colour: Slightly lighter in colour than the Common Black Ant

When to see: Most ants need warm temperatures to survive, however, the Brown Ant can endure winters and frost periods, so may be seen all year. Brown Ant queens do not tend to take flight to mate and begin new colonies, therefore you will not see them during “flying ant day”

Defining features: Brown Ants are often known as “Fire Ants” as they follow electricity and can swarm around electrical fittings, which can pose as a fire hazardThis species tend to create “super-colonies”, with multiple queens per nest, which are greater in number than Black Ants. They are resistant to traditional insect poisons.

Removing ants can be a real challenge. If you want to evict these unwanted ten-ants from your property, call Avon Pest Control today on 01789 293 463 or 01926 632 929, or alternatively click here for professional, expert advice, information, and/or treatment pricing.