Why Should Ants be Treated?
Worker ants will frequently enter dwellings foraging for food, particularly sweet substances. While not a risk to human health, they can be present in sufficient numbers to cause a nuisance. The ants will almost certainly be coming from several nests so locating one nest and destroying that will have a limited effect.
Prior to treatment the effected areas should be cleaned, any cupboards emptied & toys, pets etc removed from the area. Insecticides work more effectively on clean dust free surfaces.
We treat the infested and surrounding areas with one (or all) of the following insecticide sprays: Demand CS'* which contains Lambda-cyhalothrin, HSE Number 6287 and made by Sorex, Ficam w which contains the insecticide Bendiocarb or K-Othrine WG250, HSE Number 5390 which contains deltamethrin 25%. As well or instead of these baits may have been used. These will be either Digrain Ant Gel & is made my Lodi & contains Permethrin or Advion Ant Gel which contains Indoxacarb. These insecticides are the most modern insecticide available. Ficam may also be used in a powder formulation called Ficam D*. All insecticides are biodegradable, almost odourless, non tainting & do not corrode or stain. The outside as well as inside areas would have been sprayed as the nests are usually outside but the insects may swarm or forage for food inside. A band of insecticide has been sprayed around windows, doors and walls to keep them out. The ants walk overthe treated areas and return to the nest touching other ants and larvae with their contaminated bodies which passes on enough insecticide to kill the nest(s). This may take up to 2 weeks (if treatment is carried out before April or in cold weather the activity may continue sporadically for up to 6 weeks), immediate improvement is always noticeable but do not wash down or vacuum treated areas for at least 2 months. Washing & vacuuming will break down the insecticides. The baits work in a similar fashion but may take slightly longer to work.
What do I do afterwards?
Do not wash down or vacuum treated areas for at least 2 months. The insecticide will slowly degrade but will break down straight away if you wash or vacuum treated surfaces. Immediately after treatment let the spray dry, do not clean or wipe up any puddles, if you touch the treated surface while still wet then wash off, do not let animals on the treated areas until dry.
Flying Ants are the Queens and Drones that the workers have pushed out to start new nests for the following year, although the original nest may last several years. Occasionally Ants will swarm after treatment (usually late Summer), this will quickly die down as swarming ants come into contact with treated surfaces. The treatment is designed to keep ants out from inside areas. If the bait only option has been used then it is vital that workers are not disturbed. There will even be a burst of activity before the problem subsides. The workers must not be killed but allowed to return to the nest to carry the poison back to the nest to do it’s job.
This treatment is guaranteed (inside treated areas only) for one month after the first treatment, and is only valid as long instructions and advice on hygiene and other matters are adhered to. Insecticide treatments will only work on clean surfaces. PESTUK’s Terms & Conditions apply.
Ants - General Information
The Garden Ant
The black or garden ant is the commonest British ant to enter houses and it is found in almost all parts of the country. The worker is very dark brown, almost black and about 5mm long. The queen, which is rarely seen except for certain months in the Summer, is about 15mm long and mid-brown in colour.
Where do they live?
The queen makes the nest in the soil, in grassed areas beneath paving and patios and sometimes in hollow trees. The nests are usually outside buildings although sometimes they may be found in the walls or foundations of a house. The gregarious habits of ants have resulted in the development of a caste system, whereby individuals are responsible for specialised duties within the community. There are : workers (sterile females) ; fertile males ; and queens (fertile females). The worker ants build and extend the nest, look after larval forms and forage for food, whereby they become pests. The queens do none of these duties, but remain almost exclusively within the nest. Mating amongst sexual individuals takes place on the wing. These spectacular swarms involve large numbers of ants and take place between mid-July and mid-September. The actual swarms only persist for 2-3 hours. After mating the males perish but the females shed their wings and dig a cell in the soil where they over winter. The eggs are laid in late spring and the white leg less larvae hatch 3-4 weeks later. The larvae are fed on secretions from the queens salivary glands until full grown, when they will pupate, forming the well known "ants eggs”. From these pupae emerge the first brood of worker ants. These workers take over foraging duties and tend subsequent broods. The sexual forms are not produced until late summer. The entire cycle takes about 2 months to complete. Under favourable conditions a nest may persist for several years.
What do they eat?
The foraging workers follow well defined trails to their feeding grounds, which may be many metres from the nest following well-defined paths in and clustering around the food source. Sweet foods are preferred. Ants prefer dry areas. They also cultivate greenfly, in order to obtain the sugary honeydew secretions that these aphids produce. They enter buildings, often through very narrow crevices, and if one ant finds food, there will soon be many others. Pheromone trials are left which other ants (some from different nests) pick up, the information as to the whereabouts of food in communicated to other ants in the nest. Ants foraging for food in houses may cause considerable nuisance to the householder & once trials have been left they are difficult to eradicate without professional help.
The emergence of numerous winged ants (usually on a hot day in Summer) can cause alarm to some people, particularly if these 'flying ants' are emerging inside a building. These flying ants may be a nuisance, but they are harmless and nothing can be done to stop them swarming but treatment with insecticides will control the swarms. Infestations as these are common when the humidity is high then swarms will occur over a wide area. This is so Queens & Drones from one nest will mate with Queens & Drones from other nests. After mating the Drones die and each Queen will attempt to start her own nest. The mortality rate of Queens is extremely high with only a few out of several thousand surviving to start nests.