Ants in my home. How can I get rid of ants?

Ants in the kitchen?  Is your home being invaded by ants?  Do you need to get rid of ants?

If you have ants coming into your home, you’ll know how determined and organised they are.  The most common species that invades UK homes is the Black Garden Ant.

But there is also the smaller Pharoah’s Ant, which can infest blocks of flats by building multiple hard-to-reach nests in the building structure.  The Pharaoh’s Ant prefers protein to sweet foods. They are a health risk as they can spread pathogens such as salmonella, staphylococcus, streptococcus and even clostridium bacteria.

Less common are Ghost Ants, but we are seeing more of them nesting in heated buildings, in particular flats and apartment blocks. Like the Pharoah’s Ant, they are smaller than the common Black Garden Ant and paler in colour.  The removal of Pharoah’s Ants and Ghost Ants should always be left to a professional pest control company.

It is important to correctly identify the type of ant infestation in your property, if in doubt, contact us for professional advice. The ways to treat each species of ant are different.  If you attempt to treat a Pharoah’s Ant infestation with an off-the-shelf remedy, you can make the problem worse instead of better.

Why are ants coming into my house?

In the case of the Black Garden Ant, the foraging worker ants will come into your home in search of food, particularly sweet food. Usually, you can trace the entrance to their nest, as they take food back to the nest to feed to the larvae and queen.

The first step you can take is to clean the floor and surfaces from all food, crumbs or drink spillages.  This will remove the attraction for the ants and the reason for their invasion.  If they persist, the BCPA suggests pouring boiling water over the nest site as a first measure.  There are also powders and sprays you can purchase but if you don’t wish to do this, or it doesn’t work contact us for professional help.

Pharoah’s Ants in apartment buildings

Pharoah’s Ants are not the same as the Black Garden Ant.   If left untreated, they can pose a serious public health risk.  They can enter homes, apartment blocks and other buildings via small cracks.  They will then create tunnels that allow them to breed, live, and travel from room to room. As they move, they will also enter your living space and can spread nasty pathogens onto your floors and worktops.

It is essential to contact a professional pest control expert if you have a Pharoah’s Ant problem.  Please do not use an off-the-shelf treatment for Pharoah’s Ants.    Rather than eliminate them, it encourages them to split into more groups in the building, making them even harder to access.  In turn the colonies can then continue to grow.

How can Protex Pest Control help me get rid of ants in my home?

All the Protex Pest Control Technicians are qualified to the stringent standards laid down by the British Pest Control Association (BPCA).

We will carry out a thorough survey to identify the type of ant infestation in your property.  We will also identify where the ants’ nests are located and the trails they are using to access your property.    You will also be given an indication of how long the process will take.  This will depend on the size and complexity of the colonies.  We will then apply the correct treatment to eliminate the colonies safely and effectively.

How can I prevent ants from getting into my home?

The best way to discourage ants from invading your home is to ensure your floors and surfaces are free from food and crumbs and any spillages are cleaned quickly.  Store your food in sealed containers, cupboards and the fridge.

You can also look around your home and seal any potential entry points such as cracks or openings around doors, windows and skirting boards.

The difference between Black Ants and Pharoah’s Ants

Black Ant

Appearance: Black ants are usually larger than pharaoh ants, measuring about 5 to 13 mm in length. They have a shiny black body with a distinct waist and bent antennae.

Habitat: Black ants typically nest in soil, wood, or masonry. They can also be found in wall voids, behind baseboards, and in other hidden areas around the house.

Diet: Black ants are omnivorous and will eat a wide variety of foods, including other insects, sweets, and meats.

Behaviour: Black ants are generally not harmful to humans, but they can become a nuisance when they invade homes in search of food or water. They are known to travel in long trails and can quickly infest a building if left unchecked.

Reproduction: Black ant colonies are typically headed by a single queen. The queen is responsible for laying eggs, which will hatch into larvae and eventually grow into adult ants. New queens and males will emerge from the colony during mating season, which typically occurs in the spring or summer.

Pharaoh’s Ants

Appearance: Pharaoh ants are much smaller than black ants, measuring only 1.5 to 2 mm in length. They have a light yellow or reddish-brown body with a darker abdomen and two nodes on their petiole.

Habitat: Pharaoh ants are commonly found in warm, humid environments, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and hospitals. They will build their nests in wall voids, behind baseboards, and in other hidden areas.

Diet: Pharaoh ants are omnivorous and will eat a wide variety of foods, including sweets, greases, and meats.

Behaviour: Pharaoh ants are known for their ability to spread rapidly and infest entire buildings. They are also notorious for carrying and transmitting diseases, making them a serious health hazard.

Reproduction: Pharaoh ant colonies can contain multiple queens and can produce new workers year-round. The colony can also produce winged males and females, which will mate and start new colonies.

For more information and to arrange a visit from a Protex Pest Control expert: