Ants often appear in our homes. Usually these these are the common garden ant. Many people rush out and buy the powders and sprays that are advertised for ant control. Often they are left frustrated that not only are these ineffective forms of ant control but they actually make things worse. Powders act as deterrents, this sounds OK but remember, you will still have ants….only now they will go elsewhere. The ants may even try to defend themselves from these chemicals by creating more worker ants. They can even build new nests even deeper into the fabric of your home.
Sometimes homeowners are able to keep on top of small infestations or maybe they will get lucky and find the nest and be able to destroy the queen directly, but in most cases the DIY ant control is fighting a loosing battle.
Once ants have become established and if the nest is totally out of reach ants can be one of the most difficult pests for a professional pest controller to deal with and totally exterminate. We use special ant baits which we seek to feed to the colony. We have built ourselves a reputation on providing guaranteed ant control in Preston, Blackburn and across the North West.
Should you require me to attend your home due to ant infestations I have at my disposal insecticides and poison bait stations designed to control individual ant species and designed to be used in different situations.
The common ant or black garden ant, ‘Lasius niger’, often builds its nest under stones or in walls, the wall cavity is often a favorite and bungalows built on a solid slab often seem to be prone to on going ant problems. The black ant is also known to take over other ants nest.
Ants mate while flying, so when you see large swarms of flying ants you are looking at swarms of young queens and males during their mating flights which can contain thousands of winged males and females. This is often called a ‘nuptual flight’ of ants. You may see these swarms of flying ants from July to September.Once the queens have mated they will land and loose their wings and find a suitable place to create a nest, this of course could be a mile down the road or elsewhere on your property. Meanwhile the males only live for a day or so after the mating flights and will then die. Once again us males getting the short end of the stick!!
There are other types of ant that are found within homes and buildings. Sometimes we find Pharaoh ants, also Ghost and Argentine ants show up now and again.
Of these we have to show up most caution with the Pharaoh ant. When sprayed these ants will avoid the sprayed area, it acts almost as a repellant rather than killing them. The colony will also respond to this threat by ‘budding’ ie. they will split up and spread, often forming many smaller colonies throughout your property.
CAUTION- ALWAYS IDENTIFY ANT SPECIES BEFORE ANY DIY ANT CONTROL. ALWAYS QUESTION YOUR PROFESSIONAL PEST CONTROLLER AS TO YOUR ANT SPECIES BEFORE THEY USE SPRAYS IN YOUR HOME!
Ants are the cleaners of the natural world. When animals die in the wild – an extremely common occurrence – ants are the ones that work painstakingly day and night to clear their carcasses, thereby preventing the spread of germs and diseases that might have otherwise resulted from leaving a carcass to decompose in the open. Have you ever dropped cookie crumbs on the floor only to see a steady stream of ants trickling in almost immediately to clear up the mess? Ants feed on our junk; biodegradable junk that helps to sustain colonies of them.</p> <p>Ants also play another important role in the ecosystem by helping to aerate soil. The complex systems of tunnels that comprise an ant nest does double duty by helping to loosen and aerate soil that may otherwise be too packed for plants to grow. Ant tunnels also have the effect of circulating nutrients evenly throughout the soil by pushing nutrients from the bottom to the top and vice versa.</p> <p>We often perceive ants to be annoying pests, but the reality is that these tiny organisms also do their part to keep the population of pests low. Ants consume the eggs of certain organisms that we consider to be pests, which goes a long way to stop these pets from proliferating.
In the UK ants very rarely cause any harm. Some of the outdoor ants may have a little sharp bite but on the whole they are totally harmless.</p> <p>In other countries you may not be so lucky, for instance, a fire ant has a sting that delivers a toxin which can cause your blood vessels to dilate, leading to low blood pressure, even death. They often attack in packs means that this effects is accelerated. Fortunately, they are easy to spot and such cases are rare. Even better for us its not a UK problem!</p> <p>Throughout the North West of the UK we have ants that invade our homes but not do much harm to you directly though they can sometimes indirectly compromise your health and safety. For instance, since the ants crawl over a large area in their search for food, they can pick up various types of germs, including E. coli and deposit them on your food. When we eat this food there is a slight risk of various health problems including gastroenteritis.</p> <p>Some ants may damage wood, but this tends to be where the wood structure is already suffering from rot or damp issues. They may also dig out cement or undermine pathways, but in most cases they are only exploiting weaknesses that are already there.</p> <p>Most people will never have serious consequences from ant issues but its important to deal with them before they start flying and create a larger nuisance.
In the UK no ants do not in general pose any risk to the fabric of homes and buildings. It is possible that they could tunnel through wood that is already weakened or damaged by damp or rot. They can also nest inside dry and damaged timber. Small scale damage can occur to the aesthetics of walls and floors where ants have been tunnelling.
Ants do not in general pose a serious public health risk. They can of course contaminate food and food preparation areas. Ants will walk over anything and everything to get to a good food source. That means that even if ants themselves do not transmit a serious disease (like mosquitos transmit malaria) they can deposit dirt, and even faeces, from the dirty places they were in before entering your home. They can taint any food, making it unsuitable to eat.
People have come up with many ingenious ways to get rid of ants, and to be honest, non of them work. They only way to control ants is to either destroy the nest and queens directly, by finding and breaking into it, or by chemical control.</p> <p>Amazingly each year I come across people who have been finding wonder cures on the internet like sprinkling flour around the area believing flour can repel ants. They will also try talc or chalk. These things are harmless.....but they wont effect your ants!</p> <p>Feel free to give us a call to discuss our guaranteed methods of ant control. But please don't use over the counter ant powders, these will damage the effectiveness of our treatments.