Pest Control: Ants

Ant control services

Ant control is important in both domestic and commercial premises. An ant infestation in any kitchen where food is served or prepared presents a health hazard. They often get into food containers and contaminate food and preparation surfaces in their efforts to find food and take it back to the nest. The ants may well have walked on contaminated matter before they ever get to the food preparation and storage areas.

In commercial kitchens, or public eating areas, ant infestations can be disastrous for hygiene and reputation, especially if they decide to swarm at the wrong time. It makes sense to control these pests properly in sensitive environments.

Ants around the swimming pool and on the patio can be a nuisance, excavating sand from below and getting into food and drinks. The same problem also occurs in conservatories that provide a warm and dry environment for ants to thrive.

There are several stinging ants in the UK, but rarely cause more than a little irritation.

Common ants species

Black ant (Lasius niger)

probably the most familiar of our ants. Commonly found on patios or in kitchens seeking out sweet foods.

Brown ant (Lasius brunneus)

This is a relative newcomer, first recorded here in 1923. We have found and treated many colonies of these destructive ants, in fact more call outs for this species than even the common Black ant!

This ant prefers rotting or damp wood, so is commonly a pest of wooden buildings and frequents bathroom areas where damp wood may be an issue. It is a fairly destructive ant, frequently destroying foam insulation and sometimes damp wooden structures. The activities of this ant can also cause failure in electrical circuits due to the moisture created by the nest.

Meadow ant

Not normally a problem ant. They create mounds on lawns which may be annoying. They rarely venture indoors.

Why choose us to treat your ants?

With access to the very latest ant control products, a minimum chemical usage policy together with full training and qualifications, you are assured that your treatment is safe and correctly tailored to your situation.

How are ants controlled?

The treatment of ants depends on the correct identification of the problem ant. The most common ant in the UK is the Black Ant which can be treated with barrier sprays to stop them getting in or insecticidal gels which, although slow in action, will completely eradicate a nest, but a survey of the ant problem to identify the ants present, and the building layout will determine which method will be most likely to succeed.

Sprinkling ant powder around is very unlikely to cure the problem because ants will avoid it and emerge elsewhere. It is also not very good for the environment, and can be harmful to pets and children.

Ant biology

Ant biology differs between species, so here is a brief outline of Black Ant biology.
Black Ant colonies are started when a queen containing fertile eggs finds a suitable place to start a colony. She lays her eggs, and once they hatch, the queen tends the larvae, feeding them on secretions from her salivary glands. The larvae pupate and all become workers. These workers then clean and maintain the nest area and bring food to the nest. This is when you may notice lines of ants marching to and from a source of food. You may also find ants in house, or on the patio, or on food in the kitchen. Ants feed on carrion they find when foraging, they also “farm” aphids for the sugary secretions they produce.
In summer, male and female ants are produced by the nest. They emerge on sultry summer days, flying away to mate. The males die, but the females are now the new queens, who start new colonies. This is ants swarming, and sometimes this will happen suddenly indoors, when thousands of flying ants will appear trying to get out.