Black garden ant (Lasius niger)
Some ants are considered pests and their presence may create nuisance, especially when they are looking for stored food. Ants are generally one of the cleanest pests in nature. The most common pest ants in the UK are the Black garden ant and the Pharaoh ant. There is another ant in the UK, which is more rare as it is an invasive species, causing fires by chewing electrical cables and wiring – the Fire ant (Lasius neglectus). In hospitals, for example, Pharaoh ants may transmit various disease organisms and contaminate sterile equipment. They can also cause damage to indoor structures or outdoor plants and crops, either directly or by aiding other pests, such as aphids.
If you see just a few ants running around your kitchen, they are most probably scouting for food. However, if the number of ants increases and they start invading your property, then you may have a problem. Indication of an infestation, external to a building, may be also piles of earth and soil around the exit holes in the ground. In the case of indoor infestations, most of the species like to nest in hollow walls, cracks and crevices in other structures.
Generally, ants may intrude into your home or commercial property in two ways – by travelling from outside, or by nesting inside the premises. To prevent both of these scenarios from happening there are a few things to consider:
Pharaoh ant (Monomorium pharaonis)
Pharaoh ants are one of the major pest ants causing nuisance across London and the UK. These tiny yellow ants feel welcome in the urban environment and would comfortably settle in residential properties, hospitals, care homes, hotels, food and grocery stores, food service areas, etc… Pharaoh ants feed on almost any food source and usually nest close to the heating in buildings, which allows them to survive during the cold winter months.
What also makes it very difficult to get rid of Pharaoh ants is the fact that they have multiple queens and they can easily change the location of the colony when disturbed. This particular ant species most often nests in hollow walls, cabinet voids, buildings’ fabrics and insulation, and dark and warm places where they would be undisturbed. In case that you encounter a Pharaoh ant infestation, please seek professional help and do not use toxic products on them as these ants will scatter and the infestation will eventually spread around the property.
We strongly advise that DIY products and sprays should not be used to tackle a Pharaoh ant infestation, due to a very high risk of spreading the ants around the property or the building. They tend to move and multiply their nests very rapidly, making it extremely difficult to manage after failed treatments.
Ant treatment and control
Successful ant treatment
Prime Pest Control is a professional company dedicated to protecting residential and commercial properties from ant infestations across East, West, South, North London and all the surrounding counties. When it comes to ants pest control, the exact ant species has to be identified by the pest expert in order to understand their habits and effectively get rid of them. Our thoroughly trained by the British Pest Control Association (BPCA) ant exterminators have all the knowledge, skills and tools to deal with any kind of ant problem. We offer low-cost ant treatment and integrated solutions. Our pest technicians approach any type of ants problem individually and only after a thorough inspection would they recommend the best possible solution.
Depending on the species of ants, level of infestation and all other individual circumstances, in most cases we carry out ant treatments with insecticides, specifically developed to tackle the particular species of ant. Those insecticides are disguised as a food source, so that the ants get tricked and bring it to the nest, where they have to get the ant queen poisoned, in order for the treatment to be completely successful. As part of our ant pest control approach we usually install professional-use-only insecticide bait stations, as well as proofing of the property, which will ensure quick and long-lasting results.
Ants are insects of the family Formicidae and are close relatives of wasps and bees. There are thousands of species classified, but the most common ants in the UK that one may come across are: Black garden Ant, Ghost Ant, Pavement Ant, Pharaoh’s Ant, and Roger’s Ant. All species live in colonies that vary in size from a few dozen predatory ant warriors to millions of well-organised invasive ants. A larger colony usually consists of wingless egg-laying female queens, worker sterile females and male ant soldiers. The worker ants are the ones that most often scout for food. If they find a source, the workers will deposit a trail of pheromone, which will stick to the surface long enough to lead the others to the food source.
Male ant workers have a shorter life span than the queens, as workers usually live up to a couple of weeks, while the queens of some of the species may live up to an entire year. During the spring the reproductive ant queens and the males develop wings and fly off to new areas in search for food or new places to nest. Nesting locations may vary depending on the type of ants, but nevertheless they all tend to establish their nests in damp and humid places, close to water sources. Ants may also hide in cracks and crevices around drains, in soil, under pavements and stones, in moist areas in buildings and structures. Some species, like the Pharaoh ant, may settle around the artificial heating systems in buildings and food service areas.