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Ant Pest Control

ant pest control

ant pest control | Ant Extermination

While ants may only be the tiniest of creatures, they can be a major pest: entering homes and businesses to seek out sweet stuff which, once found, can attract hundreds of more ants in one place. If you have ever had an ant problem, you know how quickly it can escalate. Think of the scenario: you spill a small amount of honey or sugar on the floor or a work surface of your kitchen, you clean it up – but miss a bit – and within hours you’re in trouble, with a swarm of ants around! Spills like this can quickly attract hundreds, if not thousands, of ants who are happy to march into your home and feast on any unexpected offering.

Clacton-on-Sea and other traditional seaside towns in Essex and Suffolk, can be particularly prone to ants, with sweet treats and sticky drinks being readily available, such as candy floss, doughnuts, and ice-cream – all of which can all leave a sugary trail behind. All sorts of buildings can be prone to ant infestations including homes, offices, warehouses, supermarkets, hotels, bed & breakfasts and holiday cottages, which can be a real nuisance to occupiers and business owners alike.

If you have an ant infestation, it is always best to call out the ant pest control experts such as Essex & Suffolk Pest Solutions, as we can take away the worry and address the ant pest problem quickly and effectively. We deal with all types of pests including cockroaches, ants, mice, rats, pigeons, bed bugs, fleas and flies – and with years of experience behind us, we are used to all sorts of horrors, so there’s nothing we can’t tackle.

As a leading pest control organisation in Essex and Suffolk, we have an excellent rating and pest control reviews on Google, as well as pest control reviews on Facebook, including from customers who have experienced pest problems with ants. After we attended both ant pest control and wasp nest removal callouts at the same address, one repeat customer, said: “I’ve always been happy with the service I have received.’ And we have many more customers who reflect these sentiments.

Essex & Suffolk Pest Solutions offer the full range of ant pest control and extermination services to domestic and commercial clients in Suffolk and Essex. If you have an ant problem we can assist you with fast and effective ant pest control and ant extermination, with the minimum of disruption. We offer a specialist ant pest control service to eradicate ants and other pests. We will also put ant control measures in place to ensure that these unwelcome pests do not return. We offer an emergency same-day appointment service if required. All work strictly adheres to current health and safety legislation and our pest control operatives are CRB checked and qualified to at least BPCA RSPH Level 2 (Pest Management). Our ant extermination service is discreet and confidential and if required we can arrive in unmarked vehicles.

Facts About ants

It is estimated that our world is home to between 12000 and 14000 different species of ant, making them the most popular form of life on this planet. Luckily, here on the British Isles we only have to contend with around 50 of them.

Three of the most common types of ant that we are called in to exterminate in homes and businesses in East Anglia are; the Black Garden Ant (Lasius niger), the Rogers Ant (Hypoponera punctatissima) and the Pharaohs Ant (Monomorium pharaonis).

The most common of these pests is the Black Garden Ant. Lasius niger comes into our homes in search of sweet foodstuffs, crumbs, jams and other sugar sources to take back to the nest for its queen. Quite often these food forages will lead the ant some 10 -20 meters away from its nest, finding its way back using a pheromone trail. Another common ant pest in the UK’s homes is the Rogers Ant, or Hypoponera punctatissima. The Rogers Ant can be found throughout Europe. This medium-sized, yellowish-brown ant likes to nest in soil. It lives under plant pots, in woodpiles or under anything that has remained on the ground for some time without being disturbed. Virtually blind, this ant is rarely found out in the open, preferring to forage underground, but it still represents a significant pest.

One of the most difficult ants to treat is the Pharaohs Ant. Originally from the tropics, the Pharaohs Ant has tended to take up residence in larger, centrally heated buildings. Hospitals and large offices are a favourite, but it has made itself equally at home in our residential houses.

Interesting facts about ants
  • Proportionately, in relation to their size, ants are known as the strongest creatures on the planet. An article in the Journal of Biomechanics revealed that researchers discovered a certain type of ant – The American Field Ant – can carry as much as 5,000 times its body weight. Why? Unlike humans, their hard external skeleton means their bodies don’t need so much support, leaving their muscles free to lift other things.
  • Pretty much all the ants that you can see, either indoors or outdoors – including queen ants, worker ants and soldier ants – are female. This is not the case for the male ants, whose sole job is to help create ant eggs, and they die after fulfilling their role. However, some types of ants are asexual (which means they are both male and female) so this eliminates the need for male ants.
  • Would you ever consider eating a bug? If you are an adventurous foodie and don’t feel put off by the experience, it is possible to be served an ant dish in a UK restaurant. The Wilderness in Birmingham has all sorts of bug delights on their food and drinks menu including a plate of (delicious, hmm) wood ants. They taste citrusy apparently.
  • The UK is home around 50 or so different types of ants, with a higher concentration of separate species found in the south of the country; for instance, in areas such as Dorset, Devon, Kent and the Isle of Wight. This is mainly down to the higher summer soil temperature, as ants like warmth.
  • Ants also certainly like the sweet stuff – but they don’t just feast on sugar. They are omnivores so they like a varied diet and they can eat other insects, fruits, vegetables, wood, and even pet food, although their food preferences depend on what species they are. Just like humans, they like sugar because it gives them an energy burst; they also need water to survive.
  • Some species of ants can be dangerous. There is an ant species that has been identified as having the most venomous sting in the world! The Maricopa harvester ant has a sting that can be compared to the sting of a dozen bees and the pain can last up to a whopping four hours. Fortunately, you can’t find these in the UK – they are native to Mexico and various southern states in the USA such as Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, California and Utah. There are also very few human fatalities that have been caused by this ant.
  • Queen ants have a long lifespan. It has been known for at least one species of queen ant to live up to three decades. Generally, queen ants in the UK live about 15 years, which makes them one of the longest living insects.

ant Pest Control & tREATMENT

Treatment of the Black Garden Ant and the Rogers Ant is carried out using residual insecticide or baits. These treatments are unobtrusive and relatively straightforward. Treatment of the Pharaohs Ant is a more complex operation since the problem can easily be exacerbated. If the treatment is not carried out correctly, Pharaohs Ants will scatter, reforming several smaller nests and this will only serve to compound the problem. It is therefore important to call in an expert for the safe and complete removal of this problem.

Contact us now for friendly and effective assistance with ant pest control.

Frequently asked questions
about Ant pest control

What are the characteristics of ants?

There are more than 12,000 species of ants and they can be black, yellow, brown or red in colour. They are around 1mm upwards in length, although some of the tropical species are up to 25 mm long. Like other insects, their body is divided into three sections: the head, the chest area (otherwise known as the thorax) and the stomach, although, unlike other insects, they can carry up to 50 times their body-weight. There are thought to be around 1.5 million ants on the planet per human; they live in colonies, and one colony can house anything from 500 to several thousand ants.

Why are ants a problem in homes?

If you have an ant colony near you and have spilt something sweet in your kitchen, you can soon get an ant infestation in your home. If sugar is found by foraging ants, they will leave a trail of pheromones (special scents) to guide other ants in their colony to the food source. These ants will follow the path, adding yet more scent to the trail. This means very quickly you may have hundreds, or even thousands, of ants, converging on the food source in your home and this can become a major problem if it is not dealt with quickly enough. Ants can climb walls, windows, doors and bins and are attracted to sweet things, such as sugary food and jam, as well as proteins, including dog food.

Are ants a pest problem in gardens?

Ants are more of a nuisance than a pest in gardens, as they rarely eat plants. Large colonies of ants can prevent you sitting out and enjoying your garden, while tunnels of ants in pot plants can cause the plants to wilt. They can also cause a problem on lawns as there will be earth left outside the nest entrance which can prevent your mowed lawn looking neat and tidy.

In addition to this, ants can destabilise paving slabs if they remove the sand, which poses a danger to pedestrians, and can cause the outside of domestic or commercial properties to look unkempt.

Why are ants a pest problem in commercial properties?

Just as with domestic properties, ants can also cause problems in commercial properties, especially in office kitchens. However, they also pose a major threat to food-based organisations such as factories, restaurants, bars, hotels, supermarkets and warehouses, where they can contaminate food and threaten the reputation of your organisation. They can also be a big problem in hospitals and care homes and can be hard to control as they enter premises through the tiniest of openings.

If you have an ant infestation in your commercial property, it is important to call Essex and Suffolk Pest Control, so that an infestation can be dealt with straight away to keep your reputation intact, and to prevent any potential loss of revenue.

When is the ant season?

Female ants usually emerge in spring to lay eggs and the larva are fed by the queen for about four weeks until they pupate. This generally happens in April/June time and is the stage when the larva changes into its adult form.  Winged ants emerge by the end of the summer and mate between August and September. They go back to the soil in the winter and the process begins again.

Ants have a fairly long lifespan as queens can live up to 15 years, and worker ants can live as long as seven years. If you don’t tackle the problem and organise pest control for your Witham or Stowmarket home or business, ants are not only a nuisance for the season, they can return year after year.

Can you tackle an ant problem yourself?

It is possible to buy over-the-counter ant control solutions, including pellets and sprays. There are also various DIY methods which involve putting adhesive on window sills, using lemon juice, cinnamon or chalk to deter ants. However, none of these compares with professional pest control. What is a good deterrent, however, is making sure surfaces are always thoroughly cleaned after use so that ants are not attracted to your premises.

How is an ant infestation problem tackled by the ant pest control experts?

Garden ants, such as the Black Garden Ants (Lasius niger), also and the Rogers Ant (Hypoponera punctatissima), can be treated using baits or insecticide. However, the Pharaohs Ants, which are the species that can infest food industries, need to be more thoroughly tackled or they will multiply. These yellow to light brown, almost transparent ants, nest in buildings and can spread disease, so it is essential to call in the pest control experts, Witham and Stowmarket to eliminate the problem as soon as you spot the first signs of infestation.

Looking for free ant pest control advice? Call us on 01473 328092