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Pest Control -Ants

Ant

What do they look like?

The most common ant in the UK is the black or garden ant. They are very dark brown, almost black and about 5 mm long.

Where do they live?

All native British ants naturally live outside, they usually only cause nuisance in and around buildings and in gardens.

The main species, the black ant often nests in lawns or flowerbeds, from which they invade neighbouring buildings in search of food.

What do they eat?

Ants forage for food many metres from their nests. They often enter buildings through very narrow crevices or cracks in search of food. Ants eat many things but are particularly attracted to sweet substances.

Pest Status

Ants do not pose a risk to health but they can cause a nuisance.

The emergence of flying ants on a hot day in the summer can cause concern for some people. However, these are harmless and nothing can be done to stop them swarming.

Control

The nests can be located by following the ant trails.

Various commercial products are available for the treatment of ants from hardware stores and garden centres. When applying these products always read the label carefully and follow the instructions.

Insecticide treatments can be applied in and around the nest. A continuous band of insecticide should be applied to all points of entry e.g. doors, windows, ventilators, ducts and drains in order to form a barrier. Wall/floor junctions and ant runs should be treated. Any treatment should be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Particular attention should be given to small insignificant cracks that may be major points of entry for the ants. Where ants are a regular problem, regular treatments will be required in late spring.

Puffer packs containing Bendiocarb dust (0.5%) cleared for use in and around the home are best suited to DIY control. Some bait formulations can be very useful especially those with ‘delayed action’, where the active ingredient is transported to the nest, destroying ants at source. The two main active ingredients are sodium tertabarate and tricholorphon. Aerosols are likely to have only a short-term effect.

Structures can be proofed against entry from ants by filling hole and faults with cement/mortar or mastic supported by an application of insecticide.

Last Updated: 21/02/2013
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