Ants and ant control

Black Garden Ants

Ant Control and Eradication


If you do find signs of an ant infestation in your home, contact a pest professional promptly. They will be able to inspect your home, perform proper ant species identification, and recommend a course of ant control and extermination. Ant Control in Coleford, Ant Control in Lydney and the Forest of Dean.

Ant Facts

There are more than 700 ant species, although only about 25 species commonly infest homes. Ants are social insects that typically live in underground colonies, made up of workers and a queen. Ants will eat practically any kind of food, but are especially attracted to sweet or sugary items. Ant identification is relatively simple to there three distinct body regions:  head, thorax and abdomen, as well as antennae. Despite similar construction, ant species vary in overall appearance. Small or large ants and brown or black ants are common nicknames for different species. 

Garden Ant ( Black Ant)


Garden Ant

(Lasius niger)


  • Workers 4 - 5mm long
  • Queens 15mm long
  • Dark brown-black in colour
  • 1 small segment at waist point (pedicel)
  • No sting present

Life Cycle

  • Queens overwinter in soil.     
  • Eggs are laid in late spring
  • Larvae hatch 3 - 4 weeks later. 
  • Larvae feed on secretions from the queen’s salivary glands until the first worker ants emerge
  • Worker ants continue with larval care, nest building and food foraging
  • Fertile males are produced later in the season


  • Foraging worker ants follow well–defined trails around food sources Sweet foods are preferred but high protein foods will also be taken
  • Swarming characteristics –mating between queens and fertile males takes place on the wing mid to late summer. Males perish after mating
  • Nest locations – often outdoors in soil and below paving slabs on the sunny side of buildings
  • Nest locations can be identified by the presence of finely powdered soil around nest exit holes

Rogers Ant (Red Ant)


Roger’s Ant

(Hypoponera punctatissima)


  • Reddish brown in colour
  • Workers 2mm long
  • 1 large segment at the pedicel.
  • First two segments of the abdomen are constricted
  • Sting present

Life Cycle

  • Little is known about the lifecycle


  • Workers forage randomly and lay no trails as live prey are hunted, especially springtails. Rarely seen outdoors
  • Swarming characteristics — will swarm all year round. Winged adults are often found in electric fly killers
  • Nest locations — damp residues and debris. Crevices around drains and behind broken wall tiles

Brown Wood Ant

Each colony is established by a single, fertilized queen. She starts her nest in a cavity in wood, where she raises her first brood of workers. She feeds them saliva and does not leave the nest or feed herself during this time.

When they are ready, those workers then gather food to feed the next generation. Once mature, this first generation of worker ants work to increase the food supply for the colony. The colony population grows very rapidly. A colony can eventually produce 2,000 or more workers.

  • Size: 5/8"
  • Shape: Oval
  • Color: Range in color from brown to black
  • Legs: 6
  • Wings: Varies
  • Antenna: Yes
  • Common Name: Brown Wood or Carpenter ant
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Hymenoptera
  • Family: Formicidea
  • Species: Camponotu

Brown Wood ants do not eat the wood they remove during their nest-building activities, but deposit it outside entrances to the colony in small piles. The diet of brown wood ants includes living and dead insects, meat, fats and sugary foods of all kinds, including honeydew and nectar from plants.

Brown Wood ants build nests anywhere they can find water and moldy or damp wood, such as tree stumps, firewood or in the plants around your house. Brown Wood ants also build nests inside, usually entering buildings through wet, damaged wood, although it isn’t uncommon for them to adapt to drier environments. 

Brown Wood ants don’t carry disease, but when building a nest inside a home, Brown Wood ants dig smooth tunnels inside the wood. These tunnels weaken the wood and potentially damage the wood that keeps the house standing. This kind of damage can be very expensive to fix. 

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