The Threat of Black Garden Ants: Identification and Preventing Infestations
Black garden ants (Lasius niger) are also known as common black ants, as they are a widespread, prolific, frequent pest throughout the UK. Black garden ants tend to be dormant in colder weather, so it can be around this time of year that we begin to see worker ants emerging to forage.
Black garden ants are black or dark brown in colour and are around 3-5 mm in length.
They have bent antennae, a distinctively narrow waist and three body segments: head, thorax, and abdomen.
They have a smooth and shiny appearance, and their body is covered in fine hairs that are difficult to see without magnification. They have six legs and powerful mandibles, which they use to carry food and defend their nest.
Why are Ants Considered Pests?
Whilst black garden ants tend to nest outdoors, this species is attracted to sweet and sugary foods and are known to enter houses regularly, invading homes, and businesses in search of food and shelter.
While black garden ants are not harmful to humans, they can be a nuisance, especially when they invade kitchens, pantries, and other food storage areas, as they can cause damage to food packaging, contaminate food, and create unsanitary conditions.
Worker ants travel widely in search of food. When they have located a food source, they leave a pheromone. path so that other worker ants from the nest can find their way to the sugary treats.
As The Wildlife Trust reports, colonies can be huge in size, growing to around 15,000 workers, making them a significant pest in your home.
I have Seen Black Garden Ants in My Home
What can I do?
If you have noticed ant activity in your home, there are a few steps you can take to help control their population and prevent future infestations:
- Find the source: Identify where the ants are coming from; follow their trail to find their entry points and try to determine where their colony is located. The nest must be destroyed if the infestation is to be fully controlled.
- Eliminate food sources: Clean up any spills or crumbs that may attract ants. Store food in sealed containers and keep your kitchen clean.
- Seal entry points: Use caulk or weatherstripping to seal cracks and gaps where ants may be entering your home. Potential entry points include doors, windows, and ventilators.
- Use insecticides: If you choose to use insecticides, be extremely careful. Many insecticides can poison humans and pets if inhaled, ingested, or absorbed through the skin. Always follow safety guidelines and precautions provided on the product label. If you are at all unsure, it is safest to…
- Consult a professional: Black garden ant nests are often difficult to locate and destroy, meaning the infestation can be very tricky to eliminate from your home. Avon Pest Control recommend contacting a professional pest control company who can assess the situation and provide effective, safe, treatment options.
At Avon Pest Control we specialise in control solutions and have extensive experience of locating and managing black garden ants. Why not give Avon Pest Control a call today on 01926 632 929, and leave your pest concerns to us.