‘Ant season is fast approaching’. In the UK, worker ants can be seen foraging on the ground, and in houses, from March to October. The winged adults fly on afternoons from July to September. Flying ants are triggered by warm humid weather conditions and they often take flight simultaneously over wide areas of the country.
Ant Season – How to Get Rid of Ants
‘Ant season is fast approaching’. While ants aren’t necessarily dangerous, they are an incredible nuisance. Ants are commonly found throughout the UK, they invade your home in search of food. Furthermore, once a colony of ants moves into the walls of your home, getting rid of them may be difficult. Moreover, you should attempt to control your ant infestation as soon as you notice that it is occurring. The longer that you wait, the harder it will be to eliminate them.
Ant season is fast approaching: Ant distribution and habitat
The Black ant is commonly found in many parts of the world and throughout Northern and Western Europe. They have a very well-defined social structure. The infertile female worker ants are normally seen away from the nest.
The biology of ants: Life cycle
The formation of a new colony starts with a mated winged female digging into the earth to produce a small cell. She lays a large number of white eggs which hatch after 3 to 4 weeks producing white grubs. Subsequently, after about 3 weeks, the larvae will start to pupate within the cell . It usually takes less than 2 weeks for the adult ants to emerge from the pupae.
The first generation of ants are all workers. The workers tend to the queen and the larvae, by bringing food materials to the nest. Specifically, they will bring dead insects, seeds and nectar, as well as the sugary secretions produced by green and black fly. Worker ants are also good at housework. They remove excretions and rubbish from the nest. Furthermore, the worker ants are aggressively protective of the queen, larvae, pupae and eggs.
The biology of ants: Distribution
The males and female ants will emerge in large numbers during the afternoons in late summer. As a result, swarming occurs from many nests at the same time. The winged ants fly away, mating on the wing and they will eventually land due to exhaustion. Subsequently, the male ants usually die and only a proportion of the fertilised females survive to form new colonies. If the colonies are formed in close proximity one of the females will assume dominance and kill the others.
Ants will nest in a whole variety of places including under paving slabs, in the foundation of houses and conservatories and within cavity walls.
- The most common ants in the UK are Black Ants. They lay eggs in soil, brickwork or even under bark. They are drawn to sweet foods and will leave a pheromone trail to help other ants find the food source. Black ants are dark brown to black in colour and they are usually four to five millimetres in length.
- Carpenter ants, are also black in colour and larger than the common black ants. Furthermore, Carpenter ants have wings. Carpenter ant infestations are commonly found in the US but there have been some reported in the UK. Carpenter ants move as a swarm eating any produce or organic matter in their path.
- Pharaoh’s ants are much smaller than black ants. They measure in between one and two millimetres in length and they are yellow-brown colour. However, because they are imported from the tropics, they can only survive in warmer temperatures. They are commonly found in heated buildings and they survive by eating decomposing foods. Furthermore, because they feed on rotting food, Pharaoh ants are known to carry harmful germs.
- Finally, the invasive Red fire ants are perhaps the most frightening species. They are usually three millimetres long and they are reddish-brown colour. They build mounds that can be up to two feet high, They choose open sunny areas to build their colonies, consequently, making their nests easy to find. Moreover, they have a powerful and painful sting. Finally, like black ants, Red Fire ants have a preference for sugary and sweet food sources.
The problem with ants
Ants aren’t really known for carrying diseases. However, they may walk through infected matter and spread diseases. Moreover, they are a nuisance and an they can send your grocery bill through the roof as you are forced to dispose of the food that they have contaminated. Furthermore, the ability of the recently arrived fire ants to bite also makes them a danger to young children.
Ant season is approaching: How to tackle ants
Ant Season: Prevention by cleaning
The best form of ant control is prevention, and the way to avoid ants in the home is to make it uninviting to the little invaders. Start by following a good hygiene regime in the kitchen and throughout the home. Don’t leave food lying around and clean up spills immediately. Food should be covered when not in use, and pet food should be picked up as soon as your pet is done eating.
Other ant prevention methods aren’t quite as obvious. Appliances should be pulled away from walls occasionally, allowing you to clean underneath them. Rubbish cans should be tightly sealed, and spills on the outside of the can should be cleaned up. Any compost should be kept enclosed and tightly covered to avoid invasion by Pharaoh’s ants.
Ant Season: Prevention by using chemicals
The next step has nothing to do with food and everything to do with sealing up the home. Firstly, check window and door frames for cracks that ants can use to enter your home. Secondly, seal all cracks and crevices with silicon to prevent the risk of invasion.
Furthermore, barrier spraying is also an effective method for keeping ants from entering your home. Barrier or residual sprays and powders should be applied around the foundation of your home. Although barrier methods will not kill the nest, they will deter ants from entering your dwelling in search of food and shelter.
Dealing with Active Infestations
First, find the nest entrances. These are indicated by small piles of earth pellets or they can be located by watching the ants moving back and forth from nest to food. There are several options for getting rid of ants that are invading the home. Here are a few that can help you reclaim your home from these unwanted visitors.
Ant control techniques
Ant powder can be sprinkled into cracks and crevices. The ants will consume it and die from dehydration. As an organic solution, it can even be used on nests that you find in the garden. This will also destroy colonies of fire ants by simply sprinkling some over and around the nest.
Ant bait stations are also effective for killing the queen and the nest. Choose one that is carried back to the other ants, allowing you to permanently destroy the nest. If you can find the nest, make the bait even more tempting by placing it near their home. Otherwise, simply place it near an ant trail and wait for them to kill themselves off.
Ant sprays are satisfying on a personal level, especially if you have been dealing with ants for a long period of time. The downside to sprays is that they kill the ants before the poison can be shared with the nest. The poison can also spread and cause harm to wildlife.
Ants: A threat to health?
Ants are a nuisance more than anything, but they are a problem that should be dealt with promptly. Don’t wait until you are looking at an ant super-highway in the kitchen, start treatment as soon as you see one or two ants foraging in or near your home. Plastic containers and bags should be used to deny the ants access to your food. Keep the home clean to make it less appealing.
If you are treating with gel bait, remember to be patient. It will take time for the scouts to take the poison to the nest and the queen. Once the queen has died it should usually take a few weeks for the worker ants to also die as they are unable to reproduce. With diligence and a little time, you can soon enjoy a home that is free from ants.
Ant Season: Ant Control Products
‘Ant season is fast approaching’. What ant control products are available?
- Ant Killer Traps such as the easy to use gel bait stations are effective for killing the queen and the nest. Ants will carry the bait back to the others, allowing you to permanently destroy the nest. If you can find the nest, make the bait even more tempting by placing it near their home. Or, simply place it near an ant trail and they will eventually kill themselves off.
- Ant Killer Sprays with a quick knockdown capacity are ideal for killing lines of ant that you can see walking in and around your home. Ant control sprays and others of the type will instantly kill all ants on contact. Other types of spray create a long-lasting barrier of protection that will kill ants after they walk on the treated surface. For best results use a combination of both types of spray.
- Ant Killer Powders can be sprinkled into cracks and crevices and can even be used on nests that you find in the garden. Some powders, such as ant powder contain insecticides, which will kill any ants that tread on the powders, stopping them from entering your home. This will also destroy colonies of ants by simply sprinkling some over and around the nest.
Conclusion: Ant season is fast approaching
Contact the experts if you are having problems with an ant infestation. The technicians at pestcontrol.me,uk are experienced in the use of all methods of ant prevention and control. Moreover, our service is both professional and discreet.