Ants usually become a problem in homes and buildings across the UK when their nests become disturbed by rainfall or after dry periods as they are on the hunt for water. Other factors that drawn ants into properties are, poor hygiene, pet food and water bowls. This is why our team at STP Pest Control have put together this guide full of information about ants and what you should do if you find an ant’s nest in your garden.
Ants are very social insects and live in a colony within a nest. An ant’s nest will vary in size depending on the species and their age. It is most common to find an ant’s nest underground, under rocks or in wood however, it has been known for ants to nest in walls, under paths, in fireplaces and buildings. Ants are around all year however they are most active between the moths of June to September.
Ant are important to our environment however, this does not stop them from being pests in some people’s eyes, particularly when they are in the house! Ants and their nests can be considered unsightly and they have also been known to damage and even kill seeds and seedlings.
Some ants are able to bite or sting for example the bull ant. Ants are also known to cause damage to plants and crops protecting sap sucking insects from predators such as aphids and scale. They do this so they can utilise the honeydew produced by these pests as a food source.
In the UK the black ant is one of the most commonly seen, they tend to nest outdoors however they are often found within buildings. Ants range in size varying from 1mm to 52mm and their colour can also vary.
Black/ Garden Ants
These ants are dark in colour and are around 4mm in length. During the summer months winged females are raised in underground nests. They will occasionally swarm and mate outside of the nest and on return the males will die soon after. The females then lay eggs and hibernate through the winter months. If in good conditions a queen ant and her colony can survive seven or more years.
These ants are yellow/brown in colour and usually around 1.5 – 2mm long. Unlike the black ant pharaoh ants will only ever mate inside the nest.
Why Do Ants Come Indoors?
The ants that you find in your home or business are often worker ants on the hunt for food and water for the queen and grubs. Ants have adapted over the years and have come to learn that building inhabited by humans are a good place to find food and other provisions. Pharaoh ants can be found wherever there is a good food supply. They eat almost anything and can even get into unopened packets of food. Pharaoh ants follow each other in a trail, they are attracted to fatty and greasy foods, sweet and sugary foods and dead insects. It is down to their eating habits that means they can potentially contaminate our food by walking all over it.
Do Ants Only Eat Human Food?
Worker ants are scavengers and will collect a range of different foods to bring back to the nest other then human food they will also collect nectar, seeds and dead insects. They will also hunt other small insects such as greenfly and blackfly and even caterpillars.
If you find ants in your home or find a nest in your garden, then you should try not to disturb the nest. Call your local pest control professional to come and assess and even locate the nest if you haven’t already done so, they will then be able to apply their knowledge, skills and equipment to successfully treat the ants nest and get rid of the ants so that you can enjoy your garden, plants and home ant free all summer.
If your having problems with ants then contact STP Pest Control today – 0121 459 3997