Common Black Ant, Garden Ant (Lasius niger)
Ants nest in a whole variety of suitable sites and these are generally of no significance to man. However, sandy soil in general and the sand used to form the base of paved garden paths and in the foundations of houses attracts ants and nests may be formed. Little trouble is caused unless the foraging worker ants invade the inside of buildings. This is likely if the nest has been constructed beneath the floor of the house. Ants are adept at finding even the smallest cracks in the structure; other ants are then ‘led’ inside the building.
In cases of penetration the first approach should be to seal obvious faults in the structure using mortar/cement or mastic. It is best to support such proofing measures by the application of a residual insecticide band to likely access areas.
Nearly everyone has come across ants invading their home at some point during the summer months. However, with central heating now installed in the majority of residential buildings it is becoming more common these days to encounter black ants within homes throughout the year, and even during the winter time. On these occasions it is obvious that these pests are not foraging ants penetrating the building from the outside but that the nest is constructed somewhere within the heated building.
In ‘normal' situations where ants are nesting outside they collect nectar and seeds from flowers, small dead insects and the sugary secretions produced by green fly. If ants are nesting permanently inside a building they invariably become pests. Unless you had a simultaneous infestation of other insects at your home ants would not have any of the natural food resources and they turn for food into your pantry and kitchen.
So what could be done when you find black ants in your home?
Some people just do nothing and they try to ignore the fact their home is infested with ants. I certainly do not recommend you this attitude. In the end of the day, cooking in such ant infested kitchen would be like eating from a dirty floor - although ants are not inherently dirty insects, they must sometimes walk across unsavoury and unclean areas. Ants inside houses are considered unacceptable.
DIY ant control
There are many ‘household’ insecticides cleared for use against crawling insects. Their use is likely to offer only short-term relief in view relatively low dose of active ingredient to be applied. If a householder is involved in DIY ant control it would be better to use one of the bendiocarb dust puffer packs (0.5%) currently cleared for use in and around the home.
Call in a professional insect pest controller
Dust (1%) or spray formulation of bendiocarb or other products for professional use are particularly effective. Bait formulations may be of limited effectiveness.
Of course you make your own choice about the action you will take to control ants in your own home but in a case you decide to look for a professional ant exterminator I would like to suggest you Czechmate Pest Control that specializes in the removal of insects such as ants for homes and small businesses in Ayrshire, Inverclyde, Glasgow and Lanarkshire.
You can phone us on 01294 689903 for more free pest control advice and/or book a call out by one of our service technicians any day of the week.