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Common Black Ant

Common Black Ant – (Lasius niger)

Black ants are not normally a health risk, more a nuisance. Also known as the Garden Ant, they normally form a nest in gardens, under paving stones, foundations or occasionally within buildings. The black ant is monogynous, meaning colonies have a single queen.

Black ants have a wide, varied diet and are particularly attracted to sweet substances. Foraging workers are able to communicate locations of food sources to other foraging ants, causing large numbers to invade an area.

Ants in the garden

Black ants can be problem for some gardeners, as they will eat ripe fruits, especially fruits like strawberries that lack a thick protective skin. They will also farm aphids for the honeydew they excrete, by bringing them inside the nest and bringing them back out again when necessary. Lasius niger also feeds on insects, spiders and other small invertebrates.

Ants in the home

In an effort to increase the food supply to their queen and her young, and also as a way of testing new ground in preparation for the nests’ summer flight, black ants often explore their surroundings during early summer months. Sometimes these explorations lead to the ants burrowing through bricks and mortar, which is clearly a problem.

Signs of an ant problem:-

  • Ant trails and lone foraging ants on the lookout for suitable food sources.