With springtime coming, we prepare for the annual ant spike we experience each year, when hibernating ants emerge from their nests to search for food.
The black ant, also called the garden ant, is the most common ant in the UK. When an infestation of this ant species gets too large, it can cause property damage and become a nuisance. This species is generally harmless but needs to be dealt with if an infestation gets too big.
A strong colony of ants can hibernate for up to two and a half years without issue, so they are great survivors and can be difficult to control once they are established.
Worker ants leave their nests in search of food. Cakes, crisps, pastries, fruit, and other sweet snacks are naturally appealing because they prefer sugary foods.
Once they find a good food source, the worker ants will send a signal to the others, and you will soon see a trail of ants following the food source until it’s gone.
A large colony of black ants may be nearby if you see that you have common black ants in your home. It is important to locate and eliminate a colony before they cause damage to the landscape, pathways, patios, etc. Conventional chemical insecticides are typically effective at controlling these ants.
How to Manage Carpenter Ants?
Black ants can be controlled most effectively by destroying the parents’ nest. If the nest can be located, it is possible to treat the parent nest with dust or residual liquid insecticide. It prevents the queen from reproducing, which is crucial for the colony to survive.
You may have to do some sleuthing to locate parent nests outdoors. It is important to remember that these ants are nocturnal, so you may have to use a flashlight after dark to find them. Track the ants’ trails back to their nests to see what they carry. Put out fresh kills or sugar water on their route if you want to catch ants. Ant nests can be as far away as 100 metres.
A satellite nest can be found indoors by inspecting. Search for piles of sawdust and ants tunnel in places where sawdust accumulates.
Despite their size, ants can also be detected by sound. They produce a rustling sound from clicking their mandibles, similar to crinkled cellophane. Tapping on suspected wooden fixtures sometimes produces this sound letting you know there are ants located there.