Its that time of year again, the weather is warming up and with it the ants are appearing in their thousands! It’s the time of year that all sorts of insect’s spring into action and go on the hunt for food and what better place to look than our homes?
There are over twelve different species of ant in the UK, the most common being the black garden ant. Their colonies can reach up to 15,000 workers although the average colony is around 5000.
Ants have an incredibly strong sense of smell and are able to pinpoint food, often crumbs and sweet stuff, from a very long distance. Once ants have found a suitable food source, they will release pheromones to inform other ants within the colony of it whereabouts.
While the large numbers that ants appear in can be a concern, when compared to other pests found in the UK ants are relatively harmless and don’t carry disease.
If ants keep finding food they will continue to return with there number increasing each time. The best thing you can do to keep ants out of your property is to keep it clean. Particularly the kitchen and dining areas. This also applies for pet food and their eating areas. If after preparing and eating food you don’t clean up properly you will be inviting armies of ants into your home on the hunt for your crumbs, spills and leftovers. Using kitchen sprays can distort the scent train of the ants and storing leftover foods in airtight containers can also help.
Check around your property for any small cracks that the ants may be getting in through and seal them off, this will also help towards preventing ants from entering your home.
If you do have an ant infestation, then it is advised that you do not disturb the nest or clean out cupboards before pest control arrive as this information can help the pest controller to pinpoint what is going on and where any activity is coming from.
Treatments used for ant control include: Effect Microtech CS’* which contains Permethrin, HSE Number 6287 and made by Sorex. Ficam W which contains the insecticide Bendiocarb or K-Othrine WG250, HSE Number 5390 which contains deltamethrin 25%. These insecticides are the most modern insecticide available.
Gel bait can also be used for ants, Made by Lodi, Digrain Ant Gel contains Permethrin. Advion Ant Gel contains Indoxacarb. Bait is laid along the routes within and outside of the home.
In addition, a powder formulation can also be used, called Ficam D.
When an insecticide has been sprayed to treat the ant infestation the ants that enter your home will walk over it and take it back to the nest eventually killing the entire colony. This process can take up to two weeks.