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 more ants in one place. This is why if you have an ant infestation, you need to call on the services of Essex and Suffolk Pest Solutions who are pest control experts covering Witham, Stowmarket and the surrounding areas. Here we address the most common questions we are asked about ants, including how to control them.
Pest Control Witham – Essex and Suffolk Pest Solutions are the experts in the elimination of ant infestations in homes and businesses in Essex, Stowmarket and other areas of Suffolk. Contact us now for efficient and effective pest control services.
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 spilled 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.
Why are they a 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 they a problem in commercial properties – and which buildings are most affected?
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 lengthy 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 compare 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 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.
Pest Control Stowmarket – contact us now so we can combat an ant infestation at your domestic or commercial property.