Garden Ants / Black Ants (Lasius niger)
Black Ant appearance
The Garden ant is black in colour and has a segmented body. Workers are 5mm in length and the queen 15mm long.
Nests are usually found in lawns, flower beds, underneath stones and paving slabs etc. They are also increasingly found in cavity walls and foundations of properties. Black ants are social insects and several thousand may be present in a large nest.
Black ants are opportunistic feeders that can easily be controlled with bait as they will “swarm” on foods that appear within their foraging range. Indoors, they feed on meats, nuts, cheese, honey, bread crumbs, meats, grease and pet bowls.
During summer, large numbers of winged females and males are reared in the nest. On warm and humid days, normally between mid-July and mid-September black ants swarm out and take flight. Sometimes they all follow a trail inside premises and hundreds of black ants may appear in a few hours, causing distress to staff/residents.
Black ants can become a nuisance when they enter a facility but they do not present a threat to health. They do not transmit disease and they do not bite.
Prevention of Black Ants
- Individual black ant colonies can often be controlled using ant baits, but perimeter inspection and treatment are usually necessary for long-term pavement ant control. Their colonies are controlled by direct treatment of nests in the soil.
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