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How to get rid of Ants

How to Get Rid of Ants

Black or Garden Ants Control

The common black garden ant (Lasius niger) is not considered a risk to public health, however from time to time they can become a nuisance. They are dark brown or black in colour and 3-5 mm in length. They generally live outside, but will often invade buildings in search of food and this is when they can be a nuisance. Ants are social creatures and live in colonies which contain worker ants (infertile females), males, queens and grubs (the larval stage). Although omnivorous, in common with other ant species, the black ant has a liking for sweet foods. Nesting sites are frequently found around foundations, under paving slabs, the edge of flower beds and lawns. Sandy and clay soils are preferred.

Black Ant Facts

Although black ants are not inherently dirty insects and there are no health risks associated with them, because they travel considerable distances foraging for food they may walk over unclean surfaces and could theoretically contaminate open foodstuffs. When a foraging worker ant locates a food source it will very quickly communicate its find to other workers and in a very short time your kitchen work surfaces or food waste bin will be overrun with ants. Although there are no real heath risks associated with black ants, because it is unpleasant to have such large numbers of insects invade your home, it is best to not encourage them by leaving sweet and sugary foodstuffs uncovered and food waste or spillages uncleared. Large swarms of flying ants appear each year in early summer. These are winged males and females that take flight to mate on the wing. After mating the male dies and the female bites off her wings, and lays dormant in the soil over winter. The following spring these young queens lay eggs which hatch into white larvae. These are fed by the queen until they are ready to pupate. Worker ants emerge from these pupae and it then becomes their job to feed new lavae and the queen ant. In favourable conditions, nests can often survive for a few years.

Pharaoh's Ants Control

Pharaoh's ants (Monomorium pharaonis), pose a health risk because they can infect foodstuffs with a range of diseases such as food poisoning, dysentery and typhoid. In hospitals and care homes they have been known to invade surgical dressings and may transfer infection from one patient to another. Apart from disease carrying they also render food inedible by transferring dirt and filth from their bodies to both food and food preparation surfaces.

Pharaoh's ants are yellow-brown colour and much smaller than the common black or garden ant, being generally less than 2 mm in length. They are normally found living in colonies indoors and like warm damp environments. However, they can occasionally be found in drains or outside ducts, but again these areas must be warm enough for them to happily live and breed. In these conditions they will breed prolifically and expand to form new colonies which can contain many thousands of ants, when the original one is under threat.

A queen ant can lay up to 350 eggs each week. These will hatch after 1 week and develop into mature adults within a month, so infestations can rapidly grow in size, unless effective treatment is applied. Worker ants will scavenge widely in search of food and will often be seen moving in long chains across work surfaces, kitchen fittings and in food cupboards. Their mouthparts are strong enough to chew through packaging and plastics.

Pharaoh's Ant treatment

We at Mighty Pest Control carries out Pharaoh Ant Treatments in both Domestic and Commercial properties. The treatment consists of applying hormone bait to areas frequented by the ants. The hormone works by stopping the ants from breeding and juvenile ants from developing into breeding adults, so the colony naturally dies off. The hormone only affects the ants. The treatment will continue to work for up to 2 months, therefore it must not be cleaned away until after all the ants have died off. A follow up treatment is carried out 4 to 6 weeks after the first treatment to check the baits. It is usual to notice a reduction in the number of ants within 28 days but it may take longer for all the insects to disappear, because eggs will continue to hatch. Occasionally during treatment one or two larger ants may be seen. This does not mean they are thriving on the hormone baits, only that the number of worker ants has reduced to such an extent that the larger queen ants are having to leave the nests to forage for food. The treatment is very effective but there are rare occasions when it does not completely work,

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