Common Black Ant
The Common Black Ant is often also known as the Black Garden Ant or the Flying Ant, explained below.
- Common Black Ant colonies have one queen ant
- The Queen can live for around 15 years
- Typical colonies contain up to 7000 ants
- The Queen is about 9mm long, with male and worker ants smaller between 3 and 5mm long.
- They are found in Europe, parts of North America and Asia.
- They eat nectar, small insects, fruit and aphids.
These ants mate while flying. Hence they are sometimes called ‘flying ants’. The mating season is typically July and August in the UK due to the hotter weather, but this can vary with a more extended, more sizzling summer. Queens shed their wings after mating and begin to find suitable places to dig their nests and tunnels. Males generally only live for a day or two after mating.
After digging the tunnel and locking herself in, the Queen will lay her eggs. These take 8-10 weeks to hatch into ‘worker’ ants. These workers look after the nest and the Queen, and only once a colony has been established for some time will the Queen start producing new queens and males.
Pests - Garden
Common Black Ants are pests for gardeners for several reasons, including their love of soft fruits, the spreading of aphids and eating other insects and spiders (who may be beneficial to garden environments).
Pests - Home
Ants are explorers always to increase their food supplies. So they will venture into your home, often in large numbers.