Ants

Pests

Name Identification Habitat and Breeding
Garden Ant 2mm - 3mm, shiny black, elbowed antennae, large head, slender thorax, characteristic waist and long legs. A wide range of locations, ant colonies can sometimes be in close proximity to human dwellings, entering buildings to forage for food. Sometimes nests can be found well inside factories with the ants exploiting proofing defects such as cracks in the building fabric. The Queen Ant lays a variable number of eggs, three to four weeks later legless grubs hatch, three weeks later larvae mature, two weeks after pupation adult ants emerge. Late summer winged and mature males leave nest ant mate and the males die whilst the females find new nest sites. Many of thousands of ants live in a social hierarchy to various functions.  
Pharaoh Ants Workers are up to 2mm, queens 3.6mm, males 3mm. They are pale to straw yellow with darker head and abdomen, large head, and they have noticeable black eyes, with a twin bulge at waist section. A stinger is present. The queens are with or with wings and are slightly darker in colour than worker. The males have wings and are black in colour. Pharaoh ants prefer to nest in warm (25 C), humid (80%) areas, which are near sources of food and/or water. Nests are usually located in accessible locations such as wall voids, behind skirting boards, in furniture, under floors and between linens. This is a trail-making ant that can spread disease mechanically.
The egg to adult stage is reached in five to six weeks. Colonies tend to be very large with their workers often numbering to several hundred thousand. There are usually several hundred reproductive females present in such a colony. When a nest gets too large young queens and a number of support workers leave the colony and find alternative nesting sites. This is known as "budding" and the new colonies are often called satellite nests. Workers live about ten weeks, with only up to 10% out foraging at any given time for food/water. Queens lay approx. 350 eggs, larvae hatch after two weeks and are fed by workers, after a number of skin changes pupation takes place. Full-grown ants hatch soon afterwards depending on temperature. Colonies are 50,000 to 1,000,000 strong with many queens, workers, and males.