2 types - Garden and Pharaoh. A very different control method for each!
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Garden Ants - Lasius niger

There are 2.5 million ants on earth... per person. That’s about 20 quadrillion total. A big big number. So it’s pretty likely you’ll encounter them at some stage in your life. In the UK we deal with 2 types of ants - both the Black Garden Ant (Lasius niger) and the Pharaoh’s Ant (Monomorium pharaonis). They’re both ants but very different in action and control.


What to look for...


  • This species tends to live in soil or around human habitats.

  • Each colony contains up 20,000 - 100,000 ants. Usually with 1 queen.

  • Will often nest under shelter such as paving stones or in foundations.

  • They’re 2-3mm in length. Large head, slender thorax and long legs.


  • Usually only a pest internally in summer months.

  • Forage for seeds, other insects and sweet substances such as honey.

  • They live for several years.

  • Not known disease carriers, however can pass over unclean areas during foraging.

  • Internally they are rarely more than a nuisance.

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Do ants fly?

  • Young queens and reproductive males do have wings.

  • Ants can only reproduce during flight which usually occurs in late summer.

  • This swarming generally occurs concurrently with other colonies.

  • The winged ants fly away and mating occurs on the wing.

  • So often in late summer, it’s common to see lots of flying ants around the place.

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  • The first steps for ant control are about prevention and education before recommending treatment.

  • If control is deemed necessary, it will usually only be conducted internally.

  • Unlike other insects, ants can move between colonies so treating a nest does not necessarily control a problem indefinitely.

  • Insecticides in both powder and liquid application - however regular treatment is required during summer months due to the rapid development.

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Pharaoh’s Ants - Monomorium pharaonis

What's the difference?

  • This is a tropical species that can only survive in heated buildings.

  • Pharaoh’s Ants have many queens per colony.

  • The workers follow distinct trails between nest and food sources.

  • They need much greater access to water than the Garden Ant.

  • More likely to carry disease organisms.

  • Not suitable for insecticide control, may worsen infestation.


What to look for... inside

  • You're unlikely to find this species outside.

  • The most noticeable trait is trails of ants in line moving from nest to food sources.

  • Generally found in warm environments such as hospitals, schools, large residential dwellings.

  • They can penetrate packaging due to their small size.

  • They can travel through ducting and therefore can spread quickly.

  • Have the ability to transport nest to neighbouring buildings.


  • Workers will move away quickly if danger threatens the nest, so insecticide sprays and powders are ineffective.

  • Most effective methods are finding nests and baiting them quickly and effectively.

  • Continued treatment of ants will result in a shyness to the bait rendering treatment ineffective. This is why control must be fast-acting and targeted.

Contact us today

Wherever you need help with pest control, Multipest have a local team that can help you. Get in touch with our friendly team today.

Phone us

0800 024 2933