What does an ant look like?
Although ants are generally harmless, they don’t make pleasant house guests. In this article you can find out how to identify an ant, learn about the habits of these sociable little insects and get practical tips on how to get rid of them. You may also wish to Contact Us to discuss our highly effective ant removal service.
The most common type of ant found in the UK is the black or garden ant. These ants usually measure from 3-9mm, have 3 pairs of legs and bodies divided into 3 sections.
Why are ants so successful?
Ants live together in large Ant Colonies, which can consist of millions of ants. When foraging for food, they leave a scent trail (pheromone trail) along their route, to allow others from the colony to track down more food from the same source.
Colonies consist of three different types of ant:
- Female workers
There are over 12,000 species of ant around the world. Ants are very strong and can lift up to 20 times their own body weight. Ants don’t have ears. They ‘hear’ by picking up vibrations in the ground through their feet. Ants take in oxygen through tiny holes all over their body, as they don’t have lungs.
What do ants eat?
Ants love sugar! They’re attracted to sweet substances but are an omnivorous insect, which means they’ll eat any type of edible substance they can find. They also need water to survive.
Where do ants live?
Ants are most likely to enter your home in search of food and may target:
- Uncovered food
- Exposed pet food
- Empty food packaging or containers
Ants tend to build their nests:
- In lawns
- In flower beds
- Beneath paving stones
- At the base of walls
If an ant nest is disturbed, the colony will move to a new location. Once a colony has been disturbed, it won’t return to nest in the same place again.
Are ants harmful?
Ants tend to be viewed as a nuisance but those found in the UK are generally not harmful.
Black or garden ants don’t bite or carry disease. However bear in mind that any ants you find in your home may have travelled through dirty places and could contaminate uncovered food.
What’s more, ants often kill and eat other common pests such as flies (which spread germs) and fleas (which bite).
How do I know if I have an ant problem?
If you suspect that you’ve got an ant problem in or around your home, keep an eye out for:
- Individual ants wandering around the home
- Nests in your garden and around your house
How do I get rid of ants?
The main reason ants will enter your home is to search for food, so ensure that you:
- Keep your home clean of crumbs
- Store all food in sealed containers
- Regularly wipe down surfaces
- Avoid leaving dirty dishes standing in the sink
- Seal any small gaps around windows and doors