The most common ant for causing infestation issues in the UK is the Black Garden Ant. With each colony holding up to 10,000 ants this is not surprising! Black garden ants practice monogyny this means that they only have one queen per colony. She is far larger than the workers measuring 9mm, the workers measure in at only 3- 4mm. Her size combined with her extended lifespan of up to 15 years makes her a powerful leader.
The rest of the colony comprises of sterile 'worker' or 'soldier' females and short-lived male ants whose roles include dealing with dead and decaying organic materials, Ants have their benefits and are important in maintaining balance in nature with their nests aerating soil.
Typically visible and active in your garden they are usually found under flower pots but they will enter houses in the constant quest for food. They are not picky eaters and will happily dine on left over’s, fruits and other insects. This highlights the importance of sealing of your food containers securely.
How to treat an Ant invasion
Ants will travel some distance in search of food so firstly try and identify the origin of the nest. Pushed up soil on the ground indicates their presence
Seal up entry points. Talk salt or ant powder can be an effective deterrent when placed around entry points. Cinnamon is a slightly more nose friendly option too however do take care if you have furry pets as cinnamon can be toxic to some household pets!
Keep your kitchen and food preparation areas spotless. Sticky residues attract ants so wipe up any spillages with a mild bleach or vinegar solution. It's not just the kitchen that you need to worry about. Keep all areas of the house free of food traces.
Hoover regularly and kill of any ant you see in order to prevent them laying a trail for the rest of the nest. Wood should be treated. Firewood should be stored away from the house itself and any damaged or previously infected timber should be replaced. It's not just the kitchen that you need to worry about. Keep all areas of the house free of food traces!
Insecticides and baits can also be used, but these chemical treatments should only be used in conjunction with measures to prevent infestations.
Baits must be taken back to the nest and be eaten by the ants in order to be effective and won't work if used in combination with an insecticide which kills the ant before she reaches the rest of the colony.
In summary, ants are extremely common and can easily enter the home. They like human food and leave trails behind them so that they and other ants can return to easy food sources.
So practice the ant control measures above and if you still have a problem with ants it may be best to call a professional pest controller to help you.
Call us today on: 0800 158 3885