General characteristics Workers are 3.4 to 5mm long while queens can grow up to 15mm. They have elbowed antennae and biting mouthparts and their abdomen is constricted at the base giving the impression of a waist. Metamorphosis is complete, comprising egg, larvae, pipe and adult stages.
Pest control Potential food sources should be removed or protected.
Nests can be found by tracking worker ants back to their source. Often in inaccessible places, nests must nevertheless be destroyed if the infestation is to be eradicated.
Insecticide treatments can be applied in and around nests and at potential entry points to buildings such as doors, windows, ventilators, ducts and drains. Insecticidal baits can also be deployed at these points.
Species Characteristics Click on the names to see their specific characteristics.
Black Garden Ant - Lasius niger
Black Garden Ant - Lasius niger By far the most common ant found in the UK.
Areas where they are found Whilst generally nesting outdoors, in grass, walls and under paving, ants are always actively searching for food which often brings them into domestic buildings
Significance as a pest Foraging worker ants can become a nuisance travelling widely in search of food, following well defined trails and clustering around the food source. Sweet foodstuffs are especially favoured.
As well as being unsightly they can damage or consume food sources.