Ant Pest Control

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It is essential that correct species of ant is identified as some species have multiple queens and are effective at rebuilding scattered colonies quickly. It is therefore important for us to investigate the ant infestion as quickly as possible.

If a home treatment is used before proper identification is carried out, you may exacerbate the situation and create multiple colonies.

Signs of Ants

If you’ve seen a few ants around on the floor, they may just be having a look around. However, they might be the sign of a larger ant infestation.

  • Live insects - If you’re seeing large numbers of live insects then you may well have a problem. If you find them in your kitchen or in areas where you prepare food, then you need to do something about it fast.

  • Ant pathways - In and out of your home or premises. Some types of ant will lay down a pheromone trail to a food source. This chemical attracts other ants to find the food.

  • Ant nest - A nest site can look like a small pile of soil or dirt. Some species of ant like to make their home in walls or other quiet, dark places, which are more difficult to spot.

How To Get Rid of Ants

Our BPCA certified Technicians thoroughly understand the habits of each ant species.

Once they’ve identified your ants, they can use a range of powerful insecticides to deal with them efficiently, giving you the reassurance that the problem has been fully dealt with.

Treatments are targeted to your specific ant species in order to solve the problem quickly, whilst ensuring the safety of your family and pets.

Once the ants have been dealt with, you can take precautions to stop them coming back. One particularly important precaution is covering any food in storage areas - you don’t know where ants have been walking before they march across your food.

Ant Prevention

Most ants only come into your home to look for food. They are attracted to anything that’s sweet and sticky, which is why you find ants in kitchen cupboards or areas where food is kept. With that in mind it’s important to not leave temptation in their path. To get rid of ants you must remember to:

  • Clear up - food and liquid spillages immediately. Even the tiniest of crumbs is enough to attract an army of ants to your home! Ants are mostly attracted to sugary treats, sugar granules and crumbs from biscuits, cakes etc.
  • Sweep up - any food crumbs from under your kitchen appliances and units. Ants are always scouting for food sources and it only takes a couple of crumbs for them to notify their friends to come and help!
  • Store your food - keep food in airtight containers or bags and store them away safely in cupboards or refrigerators - not openly. Even refrigerator seals are no problem for ants! Fruit bowls with fermenting fruit should be emptied regularly.
  • If you have a pet - clear up your pet’s left overs straight away. Pet foods are also a food source that will attracts ants to your home. Be sure to clean the bowls after use too.
  • Block off - the entry points for ants by sealing all cracks and crevices around your doors and window frames by the means of silicone or acrylic where necessary. Check for leaks from time to time; ants will do anything to get to that crumb!
  • In the garden - make sure all rubbish bins have tightly sealed lids; ants can easily detect the left overs in your rubbish bins and won’t hesitate to check it out!

Ant Species

  • Garden Ant

    (Lasius niger)

    Appearance

    • Workers 4-5mm long.
    • Queens 15mm long.
    • Dark brown-black in colour.
    • 1 small segment at waist point (pedicel).
    • No sting present.

    Life Cycle

    • Queens overwinter in soil. Eggs are laid in late spring.
    • Larvae hatch 3-4 weeks later. 
    • Larvae feed on secretions from the queen’s salivary glands until the first worker ants emerge.
    • Worker ants continue with larval care, nest building and food foraging.
    • Fertile males are produced later in the season.

    Habits

    • Foraging worker ants follow well–defined trails around food sources. Sweet foods are preferred but high protein foods will also be taken.
    • Swarming characteristics – mating between queens and fertile males takes place on the wing mid to late summer. Males perish after mating.
    • Nest locations – often outdoors in soil and below paving slabs on the sunny side of buildings.
    • Nest locations can be identified by the presence of finely powdered soil around nest exit holes.
  • Roger’s Ant

    (Hypoponera punctatissima)

    Appearance

    • Reddish brown in colour.
    • Workers 2mm long.
    • 1 large segment at the pedicel.
    • First two segments of the abdomen are constricted.
    • Sting present.

    Life Cycle

    • Little is known about the lifecycle.

    Habits

    • Workers forage randomly and lay no trails as live prey are hunted, especially springtails. Rarely seen outdoors.
    • Swarming characteristics — will swarm all year round. Winged adults are often found in electric fly killers.
    • Nest locations — damp residues and debris. Crevices around drains and behind broken wall tiles.
  • Pharaoh’s Ant

    (Monomorium pharaonis)

    Appearance

    • Workers 1.5-2mm long, yellow-brown with brown abdomen.
    • Males 3mm long, black, winged.
    • Queens 3.5-6mm long, dark red in colour with wings.
    • Black eyes, 2 small segments at the pedicel.

    Life Cycle

    • Multi-queen colonies.
    • Swarming can take place at any time of the year.
    • Winged adults seldom fly so rarely seen. Wings are soon lost after mating.

    Habits

    • Well–defined trails are laid which are often associated with heating systems. Feeds indoors on high protein foods — meat, fats, blood, dead insects, etc.
    • Swarming characteristics — new colonies are often formed through nests that have been disturbed e.g., as a result of insecticide spray treatments.
    • Each queen produces up to 3500 eggs in its lifetime.
    • Nest locations — deep seated in cavities in heated buildings. Often found in hospitals. Associated with humid conditions. Colonies can range from a few dozen to 300,000 individuals.
  • Ghost Ant

    (Tapinoma melanocephalum)

    Appearance

    • Pale/Translucent legs and abdomen.
    • 1.6mm long.

    Life Cycle

    • Continuous breeding colonies.

    Habits

    • Feeding – indoors: sweet substances and grease; outdoors: insects that produce honeydew.
    • Nesting – indoors: small spaces, wall voids; outdoors: in flowerpots, under objects on the ground, under loose bark.
    • Locations - attracted to high moisture areas, can be found in kitchen and bathroom cabinets.
    • Colonies can occupy several different nesting sites.
  • Pavement Ant

    (Tetramorium caespitum)

    Appearance

    • Dark brown or blackish.
    • Approx. 3mm long.
    • 6 legs.
    • 2 spines on the back.
    • 2 nodes on petiole.
    • Grooves on head and thorax.
    • Thorax uneven with 1 pair of spines.
    • 12-segmented antennae with 3-segmented club.
    • Winged ants are often mistaken for termites.

    Life Cycle

    • Visible spring and summer.
    • Have been known to emerge any time of the year in heated structures.

    Habits

    • Feeding - eat almost anything that humans eat, and also pet food.
    • Visibility - seen entering houses looking for food, most often at night. May move through pipes and electrical wires.
    • Nesting - in lawns or under stones, wood, or boards. Mounds built along sidewalks, baseboards, and near foundations in clusters.
    • Colonies found near water.
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