Garden Ant (Lasius niger)
Typical worker Ants are 3-4mm in length of a brown/black colour with elbowed antennae and biting mouthparts. The queen tends to be much larger at about 10mm.
Garden Ants usually nest outdoors in lawns, flower beds, beneath paving slabs and at the base of walls. Premises are usually invaded by worker ants foraging for food, especially sweet foods. During summer, winged females (Queens) and males leave the nest on one or two warm afternoons and take flight. During this flight, which may only last for 2-3 hours, the ants mate. The formation of a new colony starts with a mated winged female digging into the earth to overwinter and start a new colony in the spring.
Pharaohs Ant (Monomorium pharaonis)
The Pharaohs Ant is a small ant of tropical origin. The workers are only 2mm long, the queen 5mm long and both are yellow in colour. The ant has a characteristic double segmented waist and a darkened tip to the abdomen.
In temperate climates it is an indoor species, associated particularly with large facilities such as hospitals, prisons and blocks of flats. Unlike some other ant species, the queen may be replaced by other queens. This is an important feature to bear in mind during control, as new queens can be produced when needed resulting in colonies which are able to split.
Ant Treatment & Prevention
Following successful identification, control treatments are relatively low key and unobtrusive. Pharaoh’s Ants, other tropical varieties and serious infestations of Garden Ants are best left to the professionals and the industrial residual insecticides available for professional use.
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