Ants in your Pantry?

Ants in your Pantry?

29th April 2010

We treat a number of different species of ants but the most common is the black garden ant (Lasius niger). These ants tend to nest in gardens, around footings of houses and under paving slabs favouring sandy dry soil in sunny sites. Small piles of fine earth brought up to the surface by the ants can easily distinguish nest openings. Sometimes nests are well inside buildings with the ants exploiting proofing defects such as cracks in the building fabric. Garden ants are not regarded as a significant risk to public health; they are more of a nuisance when they find their way inside properties.

Ants, wasps and bees belong to one of the largest orders of insects the Hymenoptera order. Ants have complex social structures with one queen per nest, males and a large number of workers (infertile females) tending to various functions. The queen may live for up to 15 years. Ants collect food for their colony from nectar, organic material and high protein foodstuffs.

It is the workers we usually see foraging for food. Foraging workers can be a nuisance when they find their way inside houses, office kitchens, bars in search of sugary substances.

Ant nests may survive for many years but young queens together with reproductive males will leave the nest as ‘flying ants’ in July and August usually triggered by weather conditions, this used to be known as “the ants’ wedding day”. This is a common sight on a hot sunny afternoon and will only last a few hours. The winged ants fly away mating in the air. The males die off leaving some of the mated females (who shed their wings and return to the ground) to attempt to start a new ant colony.

Before you call us, it is worthwhile carrying out simple cleaning measures to try and persuade ants to forage elsewhere i.e. clearing up food and drink spillages, putting away sugary food/fruit etc.

Vermatech can carry out one off treatments to control garden ants that are finding their way inside your home or work place and causing a nuisance. We will treat internal areas and if applicable the external perimeter of the property. For commercial premises we would recommend the use of ant bait to avoid out of hours treatments, however patience is required to allow this method of control to work. We will only use insecticides that are appropriate for the situation.

Please note we will not treat ants in gardens or on lawns, after all, that is where they live and can actually be a beneficial insect and of course ants are food for birds (such as woodpeckers).

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