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Common Black Ant


Ants societies are centred upon complex nest arises after the mated queen has established a small starter nest beneath the soil. The queen rears the first brood of larvae within the nest, feeding them on saliva. These larvae mature and then pupate to form the first cohort of workers ants. While she is rearing the first batch of larvae, the queen uses the reserves from her flight muscles etc as food. The colony then grows rapidly with the queen continuing to lay eggs which are tended and fed by the workers.The ants feed on nectar, seeds and small insects, aphid and coccid honey drew, etc and the nest remain viable for many years.As mentioned above there are periods during the late summer when the sexual forms are formed often in substantial swarms. Climatic conditions affect this since the males and females exploit the thermal currents to rise and mate in mid-air, Typically mating flights occur in August,following stormy weather.Very few of these fertilised queens survive to set up colonies


Eurasia, Northern Africa, Northern America, and carried to Southern Africa


The only indigenous British species that commonly enters houses. Black Ant is the most common ant in Britain. Nests are typically found in soil but may be under paving stones and concrete. When ants have nested indoors, infestations may cause problem at any time of the year. In such circumstances, their nests are usually found in the insulation layer below property.

The Black ant can pose a real problem as a nuisance pest. During foraging, workers may be found in domestic and industrial premises searching for sugary food sources. The mating swarms can also be a short-term  nuisance.


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Key Features

As with all social insects, there are a number of different castes comprising a complicated community within the ants’ nest. The worker are the most common caste and the ones that are most likely to be seen by pest controller. Males and queens are produced at certain times of the year and these are winged individuals,the so-called flying ants, which are common on thundery days in summer. The workers of Black Ant are about 2-5 mm in length, almost exclusively black or black/brown in colour although the bases of the antennae, the tarsi, and leg joints have a yellowish colour.

The presumptive queens and males are larger in body size 6.6-10 mm and 3.5-4.7mm respectively, again predominantly black but on emergence from nest they have wings. The wings are lost by the female once mating has taken place and the males die shortly after mating.