Temperate species living in soil or in association with dwellings. Form nests in gardens, under paving stones, in foundations or occasionally within buildings. One queen per nest. Workers very active foraging on wide range of foods including sweet substances, seeds, insects and aphid secretions 'honey dew'. Nests may survive for many years but young queens leaving the nest as 'flying ants' start new ones each year.
Egg - larva - pupa - adult. Eggs - laid by queen. Larvae - legless grubs fed by workers, full grown in about 3 weeks. Pupae - known (incorrectly) as 'ant eggs' develop in 2 weeks, guarded by workers. Adults - workers dark brown/black, 3-5mm long. Queens winged at first, 12mm, live for several years.
Foraging workers are a nuisance but not normally a health risk. They guard aphids that damage garden plants. Sexual forms, 'flying ants' may emerge in large numbers close to or inside houses.
Good hygiene standards may prevent infestation. Application of residual insecticide to flooring, walls, building perimeter, cracks and crevices. It is important to locate external nest and treat accordingly. Only to be undertaken by qualified technicians.
The common Black Ant's have no sting, but they can squirt a spray of formic acid. Some birds put ants in their feathers because the ants squirt formic acid which gets rid of parasites. Ants have the largest brain of any insect. The combined brain cells of a colony of ants have about the same number of brain cells as a human.
NORWAY BROWN RAT Rat of the developed urban environment, largely in developed towns and cities. Generally a burrowing species but can be found in buildings and...Read More
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BED BUGNocturnal parasite, all stages feeding on mammalian blood, principally human but also dog, cat or rodents. Hide by day in crevices in beds...Read More
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COMMON WASPTemperate species forming nests in soil banks, roof spaces, wall cavities and trees. Nests formed of paper (chewed wood) and may become very large....Read More
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GERMAN COCKROACHPrimarily nocturnal, a pest of warm, humid conditions. Found in the UK only in heated buildings, not normally outside or in underground...Read More
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AMERICAN COCKROACHPrimarily nocturnal, a pest of warm, humid conditions. Found in the UK only in heated buildings, not normally outside or in underground heating...Read More
CLUSTER FLYAdults live harmlessly out doors during summer but may enter buildings (usually roof spaces and lofts but also through windows into rooms) in autumn....Read More