Key Features of Black Ants
The commonest species that invades UK households is the black garden ant, which actually is very dark brown. The worker ants, which are likely to enter properties when foraging for food, are 3 to 5mm in length.
The bodies of all ants are made up of a head and these are distinctly separated by very narrow waists. They also have a sharp elbow joint in their antennae.
Ants are highly organised social insects, with each nest being centered around one reproductive female; the queen, and her sterile daughters; the workers. It is the foraging workers that invade buildings in search of food, which they take back to the nest to feed the larvae and queen.
“Flying ants” are the reproductive males and females. These reproductive females are future potential queens. They have a nuptial swarming flight during a few days in July and August, typically just after stormy weather. The males die shortly after mating and the females seek out nesting sites to build new colonies in the following spring.
Black Ants usually nest in soil but can also be found living under paving stones and concrete. These ants can become real nuisance pests because during foraging, the workers may enter domestic, commercial and industrial premises – particularly food preparation areas – in search of food.
The mating swarms can also cause a short-term nuisance, although this lasts only a few days