Introducing The Ant!
This week we are excited to carry on with our series of "Pest Trumps" at PGM & SON Pest Control Services with The Ant.
Each file is available for free download, and you may use them at work to help identify pests for the protection of your workers and customers. The PGM "Pest Control Trumps" set of information cards were created to assist with pest-related issues in the UK and to ensure the public are armed with the correct information about each pest we highlight in our pest trump series.
By proactively promoting an integrated pest management approach, we can protect people and food as well as wildlife and the environment. We all have an important part to play in educating the public and business that prevention is better than cure. At PGM & SON we know stewardship and sustainability are critical both to the survival of the pest control industry and to our planet.
These highly organised and social insects are noticeable by their head, thorax and abdomen. With narrow waists and a sharp elbow joint in their antennae, the foraging worker ants march into buildings to search for food to take back to the nest to feed their larvae and queen.
DID YOU KNOW?
Flying ants are reproductive males and females who have a nuptial swarming flight for a few days usually in July and August.
STRENGTH ~ 8
What can we say?! If anyone has ever seen a tiny army of ants on the march, they can’t fail to be impressed. These minute insects have strength in numbers and are fascinating to watch.
BREEDING ~ 8
Flying ants' mate in flight after which the female will find a nest for the winter. She then lays her eggs the following spring to start a new colony. The ability to survive through the winter to start a new colony in the spring seems like a massive feat to us for such a tiny insect! The average lifespan of an ant can be anything from several weeks to several years.
NUISANCE FACTOR ~ 10
Although impressive in their skills and teamwork, ants are a major nuisance factor. They love sweet foods and will forage in kitchens and just about anywhere to find food which they can take back to their nest. The problem with an ant is that they march across most surfaces to find and transport their food including other animal faeces, dirt, grime and bacteria. The ant is a major disease transmitter for this reason. Ants are also very hard to control due to their size, ability to access buildings through miniscule holes and cracks, build inaccessible nests and their sheer numbers.
AGILIGTY ~ 8
Ants make complex and vast nests with multiple inaccessible entry points. In the garden, ant nests occupy a much larger volume of soil than the surface excavations might suggest.
ENVIRONMENTAL ~ 7
The common ant is an important insect and can be found in pretty much every garden across the UK. They are an important part of biodiversity. Ants feed on other invertebrates including other ants. They also collect sweet liquid known as honeydew from aphids and sap-feeding insects. They do little damage to plants although they can disturb the soil around the roots to use for nests.
Overall PGM Rating 7/10
For an ant, it’s all about great teamwork. They may be tiny insects, but they are mighty team players!
Ants can be a major nuisance in a home or business, and they are disease carriers, so they score low on both points. However, in the garden, ants are an important part of biodiversity and win extra points for this. They are also fascinating insects with impressive ability given their small size.