Identifying an Ant
In relation to a physical sighting of Ants, their physical appearance is one of a six legged insect with short antennae and three sections to their body. They will vary in colour and size depending on species and sex.
Below are some of the species you would find within or around a UK premises (though there are other species of ants that are less frequently seen not on this list):
- Black Ants (Lasius Niger) - A dull black ant and are approximately 2-5 mm in size (queens are approximately 12mm in size). They are more commonly found within a garden or beneath paving stones and less commonly found within a premises unless mating swarms occur.
- Pharaoh's Ants (Monomorium Pharaonis) - This ant has a pale yellow upper body with a dark abdomen and are approximately 1-2 mm in size (queens are approximately 4-5mm in size). They thrive in areas of high temperature (Kitchens, Air-Ducts, Well Heated Rooms).
- Ghost Ants (Tapinoma Melanocephalum) - This ant has pale antennae, legs and lower body whilst the rest of the body is black. They are approximately 1.3 - 1.5mm in size and are similar to Pharaoh's ants in that they thrive in areas of high temperature (Kitchens, Air-Ducts, Well Heated Rooms).
- Argentine Ants (Iridomyrmex Humilis) A dull or shinny brown ant throughout the body and are approximately 2.5mm in size. Similar habitual habits as the Pharaoh's Ant.
- Crazy Ant (Paratrichina Longicornis) - These ants are a rare sight in the UK and are dark brown in colour with distinctive white hair across their body. They are approximately 2-3mm in size and are an external ant that resides in soil, plant cavities, rotten wood and general cover.
- Big Head Ant (Pheidole Megacephala) - These ants have heads that are relatively the same size as their bodies. They are yellowish to light-brown in colour and approximately 2-3mm in size. They are rarely found in the UK and commonly reside in soil or rotting wood entering buildings seeking food.
- Rodger's Ant (Hypoponera punctatissima) - This ant is dark yellow-brown in colour with dense hair across its surface. Being of tropical origin, they are approximately 2-3mm in size and in Britain are found infesting permanently heated environments (Conservatories, Bakeries and Hotels). They reside in damp soil residue and may also be found in areas where moisture is plentiful (drains, toilets, etc).
Excessive activity may be seen externally around ant mounds which are the main entrances to their colonies. Internally they may be seen around the parameters of a skirting, window frame, door frame and worktop walking individually or in a convoy, particularly in a kitchen where temperatures may be higher.