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Common name:     Common Black or Garden Ant            Pharaoh’s Ant


Latin name: Lasius niger (Common)             Monomorium pharaonis (Pharaoh’s)



Common ants are black in colour, 2-3mm in length, large head with slender thorax and large body. Form a nest containing just one queen, usually in gardens under paving slabs or within walls.

Pharaoh ants are 2mm in length and a pale-straw colour. They are a tropical species living in heated buildings. They form nests in heating ducts and wall cavities, with each nest containing many queens.


Queen ants lay eggs which hatch after about 2 weeks. The larva are fed by worker ants and are full grown after 3-4 weeks. Larvae then pupate and emerge as adults after 2 weeks.

Ants forage on a wide variety of foodstuffs, including nectar, seeds, dead insects and food scraps.

Impact of Ants

Nuisance – Common ants regularly invade homes, and although they are not normally a health issue, they can create a nuisance, and proofing your home from them can be near impossible due to their small size.

Disease – Pharaoh ants are a tropical and subtropical species nesting in buildings. They may carry contamination to foodstuffs and in hospitals can contaminate sterile equipment. When disturbed, worker ants may carry larvae and pupae to a safer location and form a new nest, a process known as “budding”. This means pest controllers must be careful not to spread the problem by using ineffective treatment.


Common ants can be treated with residual insecticide dusts and buildings can be proofed by sealing likely access points. Baits can be used which are transferred back to the nest by worker ants and feed to larvae and queens, killing the nests inhabitants.

Pharaoh ants are best treated using a variety of baits which will be transferred back to the nest by worker ants. There is a risk of further nests “budding” of if ineffective residual dust insecticides are used.

i-Pest Intelligent Pest Control will conduct a survey of your home to confirm the extent and type of ant infestation before the appropriate treatment is selected.

Image by David Higgins
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