Information on Ants and Removal

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Ant Control Manchester – Protecting your home or premises from Ant invasions

Ants

There are more than 8000 known species of ants. They differ greatly in the way that they construct their nests, form their colonies and obtain their food.
Most ants are beneficial scavenging on waste material and on other insects. Some, however, are pests and need to be controlled. The Pharaoh’s Ant, Monomorium pharaonis is one such species which, once introduced into premises can be extremely troublesome and difficult to remove. The Black Garden Ant, Lasius niger, is another species which, although generally found outdoors, can enter buildings in search of sweet foodstuff.

Nuisance Factor – Ants

The workers of both species are often a considerable nuisance when foraging for food or water along scent-marked trails. They feed on most foodstuffs, Pharaoh’s ants, preferring proteinaceous foods like meat, cheese and fats, the garden ant favouring sweet materials.
Pharaohs ants also infest hospitals, feeding on blood, intravenous liquids, bodily excretions and sterile and soiled dressings. They commonly chew on materials and packaging and can even bite children. Clearly they pose a serious threat to health as vectors of pathogenic organisms.
Black ants mass round sweet foods in the home but are a nuisance outside too. They excavate the soil, making it dry whilst simultaneously helping to cultivate greenfly to feed on the sweet secretions the greenfly produces whilst feeding.

Ant Description

The body of the ant is divided into three main sections; head, thorax and abdomen. These body parts are joined by very narrow waists. All ants have antennae that feature an elbow-like joint.
Pharaoh’s ants have biting mouthparts and a set of fore wings hooked to a pair of hind wings, although wings may not be present in all cases. Workers are 1.5 – 2mm long and yellow/brown in colour. Males are 3mm long, black, winged but do not fly. Queens are 3.5 – 5mm long, dark red with non-functional wings that are discarded after mating.
The Black worker ant is 3.4 – 5mm long and despite its name, is dark brown in colour whilst the queen is typically 15mm long and mid brown in colour.

Life Cycle – Pharaoh’s Ants

Pharaoh’s ants are social insects. Each member of the colony, (which can range from a few dozen to 300,000), has a particular function to perform within the community. The colony will consist of sterile female workers, sterile males and fertile queens – of which there can be many.
Nests are established by a newly-mated queen which remains within the confines of the nest. The first batch of eggs hatches, producing grub-like larvae. The queen will then feed them for three weeks until they pupate. Adult ants emerge around 10 days later and take over the task of rearing subsequent batches of eggs. About 10% of workers forage for food, the remainder continue rearing and building the nest. The whole cycle from egg laying to adult takes about 5 weeks.
Another way in which new colonies are formed is by a process known as budding and this can occur when a nest is disturbed, prompting the adult ant to carry larvae to a new site, from which they will rear queens and males.

Life Cycle – Black Garden Ants

Mating of black ants takes place almost exclusively on the wing and occurs for 2-3 hours when large swarms of winged ants can be seen. After mating the males die and the females lose their wings and dig a hole in the soil where they form a cell in which they overwinter.

Ants Life Cycle from Egg to Worker

Queen establishes a new nest in which to lay her eggs
The eggs take between 1 – 4
weeks to hatch depending on the species
The queen feeds larva until 10 – 14 days later they pupate
The pupa emerge as adult worker ants in less than 2 weeks
The first gerneration of worker ants will take over the running of the nest, tending the new larvae and queen as she continues to lay more eggs.

Ant Control – Pharaoh’s Ants

The control of Pharaoh’s ants is difficult due to their highly developed social structure and the inaccessibility of their nests.
The most effective control involves the use of an insecticidal bait or insect growth regulator so that the whole infestation is affected within a short time. An initial survey must be conducted to determine the level of infestation, both visually and by pre-baiting.
Once the extent has been determined, insecticidal bait or insect growth regulators can be applied to the perimeter of the infested area, progressing carefully inwards until the whole area has been treated. Further monitoring may be necessary.
Approximately 90% of the workers are involved with rearing the young and tending the nest, the other 10% forage for food.

Ant Control – Black Garden Ants

Black garden ants, whilst posing no major threat to humans, can be a nuisance if they enter the home. Control can only be achieved by the destruction of the nests which entails applying insecticide in and around the nest ensuring that insecticide is present at important points such as doors, windows, vents, ducts and drains. Particular attention should be given to cracks and crevices.

Contact us at Manchester Pest Control for a fast reliable ant control service, our Manchester ant control team will ensure you receive the most immediate professional help with ant control and proofing.

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