The black garden ant is the most common ant in Ireland and it really is a magnificent insect!! They are keen explorers and you will find them in the most unlikely places. Black garden ants are most active during the early summer months as they attempt to increase the food supply to their queen and her young.
Although classed as a pest, they are not known to harbour any disease. We have an ongoing battle with ants in premises where food is being served to the public -restaurants, cafes, fast food premises and also within hospitals and nursing homes! They have become more of a problem in recent years due to the changes in our weather patterns. We are seeing more of the ant “out of their normal season”.
Pest Control in particular Ant Control is very important in order to minimise the chance of contamination. The following are key tips to consider to help you get rid of Ants and prevent in advance. The first step is recognising the pattern of Ant behaviour.
Mating of the black garden ant takes place over a short period of time, normally during the warm summer months of July and August, when swarms of ants (flying ants) take to the air. After mating, the male dies, and the newly fertilised queen will begin to search for a suitable nesting site where she will overwinter.
The first eggs are laid in late Spring, and it normally takes about 3-4 weeks for the white legless larvae to hatch out. The larvae feed on secretions from the queen’s salivary glands until the first worker ants emerge around 5 weeks later. The worker ants then take on their duties of larval care, nest building, and foraging for food while the black garden ant queen concentrates on laying eggs which will number into the thousands! They have been recorded cases of a Queen Ant living for nearly 30 years! The Queen Ants main function is to reproduce and has no known real authority over the colony.
How do ants locate food?
As we have quoted above, ants really are amazing in every aspect. Scientists at the University of Sussex, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), have shown precisely how the ant’s visual navigation strategy works. On a ant’s first trip to a food site it follows a chemical trail left by earlier ants. This is a slow way of traveling as the ant needs to walk with its antennae to the ground. However, this initial route forms the basis of an efficient learning strategy. On the first trip, ants store images of the route as they travel and on later trips to the food site will navigate using a combination of landmarks and memories of the whole landscape. The scientists found the ants even used different sets of landmark memories depending on whether they were on their way to food, or whether they were full and heading back to the nest. Ants store many memories and have mechanisms to activate the right ones. Even to the present day ants are still mainly unexplored by scientists and continue to baffle them!
Get Rid of Ant Infestation: Ant Control
Upon inspection our exterminator will advise you on the plan of action. Get rid of Ants is possible with the support of a professional. If you think you have a problem with Ants it is advisable to avoid leaving food around in order to keep the problem to a minimum. Once you have undertaken this step an exterminator can be called upon to help you get rid of the Ants in a professional and efficient manner.