Common Name: Common Black Ant Scientific name: Lasius niger. Size 2.5-4mm
Biology: Over wintering females or Queens lay their eggs in the spring. The white legless larva’s hatch in about 3-4 weeks and are fed by the Queen on secretions from her salivary glands. The entire life cycle takes about 2 months. The nests can last for several years and can contain 15-20,000 ants.
Habits: Their life is mainly spent outside in the soil and under paving slabs etc. but because of the foraging for food they enter indoors and become a problem. As they forage for food they leave scent trails for the other ants to follow which is why you see long lines of ants. They are a very social insect this is the reason you see them in large numbers. Ants will also nest in cavity walls and in internal walls over the winter months for warmth. This can then lead to ant infestations within a property causing high levels of ant activity. When ants nest in this manner it can make it very difficult to locate the nest and also prolong the treatment.
Treatment: Ants can be treated with many of the available insecticides used by professional pest controllers, these are applied ether directly into the nest if it can be located. If the nest is well hidden away the insecticides are applied to the trails used by the ants, they walk on the treated surface taking it back to the nest. A gel bait can also be used, the ants take small amounts of this back to the nest and feed it to the queen. Some ants nests are very hard to locate which means sometimes multiple treatments are needed to eliminate an infestation.
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