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HOW DO I GET RID OF ANTS?
To get rid of ants, it is important to identify the ant species before attempting ant control. Some ant species, like Pharaoh ants, can be controlled using toxic baits, while for others it is better to use toxic residual sprays. To get rid of ants successfully, it is usually necessary to identify the nest and treat the colony directly. Terminix® pest control professionals have the experience to correctly identify your ants and treat them appropriately.
TELL ME ABOUT ANT BEHAVIOUR
Ants are social insects that live in colonies consisting of workers, queens, and young.
The workers forage for food, construct the nest and care for the young and the queen(s); the role of the queen is just to lay eggs and within a nest, one or multiple queens can be present depending on species.
Swarms of flying black garden ants that are observed on hot sunny days are made up of winged male and female ants that fly out to start new colonies in new locations. These flying ants mate during the nuptial flight, and the male dies soon after. The queen locates a suitable nesting site where she sheds her wings and spends the winter before founding a new colony the next spring.
Ants are holometabolous, meaning the life-cycle involves the separate life stages of eggs, larvae, pupae and adults. With ants, the larvae are cared for by the workers. Most black garden ant adults are worker ants, but after two or three years, the colony matures and begins to produce flying ants every year.
TYPES OF ANTS IN THE UK
The most common pest species found in the UK are black garden ants and pharaoh ants.
BLACK GARDEN ANTS
Black garden ants are the most common species in the UK.
This is typically a summer pest that can affect commercial and domestic properties. Black garden ants’ nests are found under floors or in the soil in gardens. They forage for a variety of foods, but they are not particularly associated with unhygienic places so they are primarily a nuisance rather than a risk to human health. However, they must sometimes walk over microbe contaminated surfaces during their foraging, and this leads to ants invading buildings being considered unacceptable.
This pest ant can be very difficult to control and eliminate. When foraging worker ants are killed by residual treatments, the colony will fracture or split into two or more colonies to ensure part of the colony survives. If such treatments are continued, the infestation is spread throughout the building. Pharaoh ants typically establish themselves in areas near moisture, such as the kitchen or bathroom. They travel from room to room within the walls via plumbing pipes and electrical wires.
HOW TO PREVENT AN ANT INFESTATION
- Ensure good housekeeping in food areas
- Store foodstuffs are stored in sealed containers
- Ensure spillages are cleaned up without delay
- Empty and clean bins regularly
- Seal any holes and gaps around windows and doors that could allow them to enter
HOW TERMINIX GETS RID OF ANTS
- Identify the species of ants
- Identify the extent and source of the infestation
- Depending on species, place insecticidal gel bait in the infested areas
- The toxic baits are slow-acting, so the ants can eat some and take some back to the nest before dying themselves. There is likely to be an initial increase in activity as they find and exploit the new food source. It is fed to the young in the nest, so it gradually kills the whole colony.
- If the infestation is severe a follow-up visit may be required