Pests from A to Z

  • Rokill


The commonest species that invades houses is the Black Garden Ant, which is actually very dark brown.

All ants have the main divisions of the body (head, thorax, abdomen) distinctly separated by very narrow waists and have a sharp elbow joint in their antennae. They are highly organised social insects. It is the foraging worker ants that invade buildings in search of food. These are from 3 to 5mm in length and are attracted to sweet foodstuffs which they take back to the nest to feed to the larvae and queen.

Black Garden Ant (Lasius niger)

The commonest species that invades houses, scientifically known as Lasius niger, is a common and widespread species found throughout the UK and Europe. Despite its name, these ants are not entirely black but have a dark brown coloration. Recognized for their adaptability, these ants thrive in various environments, including gardens, parks, and urban areas. Black Garden Ant colonies are highly organized, with a single queen, worker ants, and soldiers. They exhibit remarkable foraging behavior, forming distinctive trails as they search for food.

While generally considered harmless, these ants may become household pests when they invade homes in search of sweets and other food sources. Understanding the habits and biology of the Black Garden Ant is crucial for effective pest control strategies when necessary.

Flying Ants (Alates)

Flying ants are the reproductive males and females. These mating ants are winged and have a nuptial swarming flight during only a few days in July or August. Mating takes place in the air and the female then seeks out a nest site where she stays for the winter, laying eggs the following spring in order to start up a new colony.

Pharoah’s Ants (Monomorium pharaonis)

This tropical ant species has become established in heated buildings across the UK. Pharaoh's Ants are small, yellowish-brown ants known for their rapid reproduction and ability to form large colonies. They are commonly found in hospitals, homes, and commercial buildings.

They are considered a major pest, especially in heated buildings, hospitals, and homes. Their small size allows them to access hard-to-reach areas, making eradication challenging. Pharaoh's Ants can transmit pathogens, making them a concern in healthcare settings.

Red Imported Fire Ant (Solenopsis invicta)

Found in woodlands and heathlands across the UK, the Red Wood Ant is recognized for its reddish-brown coloration. These ants build large nests made of pine needles and twigs on the forest floor. They play a crucial role in ecosystem health by controlling pests and aerating soil.

While not as widespread in the UK as in other regions, Red Imported Fire Ants are considered a potential threat due to their aggressive stinging behavior. Their presence can be problematic in areas where they establish large colonies, posing a threat to local ecosystems and human health.


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As warmer weather approaches, learn how to identify and effectively tackle ant infestations in your home. Discover insights from the British Pest Control Association, DIY methods, and when it's time to seek professional help. Safeguard your home with expert advice and eco-friendly solutions.

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