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Garden Ants

One of the commonest insects that invades houses is the Garden Ant. The ant is an active insect and nests outside in grass, walls and under paving. It enters buildings in search of food.


The Garden Ant is a relatively large ant 3-5mm in length and dark brown to black in colour.

Life Cycle

Flying ants are the reproductive males and females. These mating ants are winged and have a nuptial swarming flight during a few days in July or August. Mating takes place in the air and the female then seeks out a nest site where she stays for the winter. The following spring (April) she lays her eggs, the larvae hatch in 3-4 weeks and are fed by the queen until they pupate. The first worker ants then emerge.

Control methods

Although frequently inaccessible and difficult to destroy, ants' nests must be eradicated if infestations are to be successfully controlled. The nests of Garden Ants can be located by following their trails, and by observing small piles of fine earth brought up for example from under flagstones.

  1. Boiling water poured on the nest will control the infestation for a short time at least.

  2. This should be followed up by puffing a residual insecticidal powder product into the hole. Select a powder product which lists ants on its label and always follow label instructions.

  3. A residual insecticidal lacquer can be applied around door thresholds, wall/floor junctions, windows, ventilators, ducts and drains, in fact anywhere where you see ants run. Attention should be given to small cracks.

If you regularly experience problems with ants it is recommended the above treatment commence during the late spring.

The authority does offer a treatment service for ants, but due to the prolific numbers involved in individual ant nests, and the numbers of possible nests within a single area, we cannot guarantee the treatment eliminating the problem.

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