black garden ants
black garden ants

Months of Activity: June - September

The black garden ant is the most common ant in Britain, and can be found across all regions of the UK. Keen explorers, black garden ants are most active during the early summer months as they attempt to increase the food supply to their queen and her young.

Black garden ants can often become a problem for gardeners as they farm aphids, which can subsequently attack crops of fruit and flowers.

Appearance

  • A black garden ant worker is between 3-5mm long and, despite its name, is dark brown in colour.
  • The black garden ant queen is around 15mm long and has mid-brown colouring.

Lifecycle

Mating of the black garden ant takes place over a short period of time, normally during the warm summer months of July and August, when swarms of ants take to the air. After mating, the male dies, and the newly fertilised queen will begin to search for a suitable nesting site where she will overwinter.

The first eggs are laid in late Spring, and it normally takes about 3-4 weeks for the white legless larvae to hatch out. The larvae feed on secretions from the queen's salivary glands until the first worker ants emerge around 5 weeks later.

The worker ants then take on their duties of larval care, nest building, and foraging for food while the black garden ant queen concentrates on laying eggs.

Ants page content courtesy of Pest Control UK

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