What do they look like?
The Most Common Tropical Ants in the UK are Pharaoh Ants
Pharaoh Ants are small reddish/brown tropical insects typically 2mm long. Pharaoh ants were first recorded in Britain in the early nineteenth century. They live in groups and different types of ants are responsible for certain duties within the colony. The worker ants (sterile females) have responsibility for building and extending the nest, looking after the larvae and foraging. It is when they look for food that they are a nuisance. The queens (fertile females) usually remain in the nest.
Where and how do they live?
Pharaoh ants are commonly found indoors. They need warm temperatures to breed and are usually associated with warm, centrally heated buildings. They are increasingly found in domestic properties.
Why are they a problem?
Pharaoh ants can carry germs from dirty places to clean food and for this reason are of major public health significance. The fact that they are difficult to control also poses problems – worker ants are able to start new nests if the original one becomes too small. A building may thus be infested with Pharaoh ants that will not necessarily be located at one nest site. Additionally, the ants are spread quite easily from building to building in moveable items such as clothing and bedding.
The sterile female ants become a nuisance when they search for food in our homes. They are able to communicate information regarding the location of suitable food sites to other workers, and it is common to see long narrow trails of worker ants moving to and from the food source. It is also common for the ants to search out water for drinking, and this often brings them into contact with drains.
How can I get rid of pharaoh's ants?
The ants are extremely difficult to get rid of. For this reason, you need professional help if you have an infestation.
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