What do they look like?
The black or garden ant is the most
common British ant to enter houses and is found in
most parts of the country. The worker is very dark brown,
almost black, and about 5mm long.
The queen ant is rarely seen except
for certain months in the summer. The queen is about 15mm long and
mid-brown in colour.
Where do they live?
The queen makes the nest in the
soil, in grassed areas beneath paving and patios and sometimes in
hollow trees. The nests are usually outside buildings although
sometimes they may be found in the walls or foundations of a
What do they eat?
The foraging workers follow
well-defined trails to their feeding grounds, which may be many
metres from the nest. They enter buildings, often through very
narrow crevices, and if one ant finds food, there will soon be many
others. They feed on Nectar, seeds and smaller insects. Ants
foraging for food in houses may cause considerable nuisance to the
Are they a health risk?
Worker ants will frequently enter
dwellings foraging for food, particularly sweet substances. While
not a risk to human health, they can be present in sufficient
numbers to cause a nuisance.
The emergence of numerous winged
ants (usually on a hot day in summer) can cause alarm to some
people, particularly if these 'flying ants' are emerging inside a
building. These may be a nuisance, but they are harmless and
nothing can be done to stop them swarming.
How do I control them?
Insecticidal dusts are an effective
treatment against garden ants; these can be purchased from hardware
shops, do-it-yourself shops and garden centres. The dust should be
puffed lightly into void spaces, cracks and crevices where the
nests may be located.
Insecticidal aerosols suitable for
crawling insects can be used for spraying into cracks and crevices,
and for application as a band around skirting boards, door frames,
air bricks and other access points. Flying ants can be treated with
any aerosol suitable for the control of flying insects. These
products rely upon worker ants taking the bait back to the nest and
sharing it with other ants.
Last Updated on 6/25/2012