How to get rid of ants

If you have an ant infestation in your home, garden or business you’ll want to get rid of it fast. Black ants are found all over the UK, and although they nest outdoors you may find these little pests in your house foraging for food. They are attracted to fatty food, meat, sugary food and other dead insects, but will eat almost anything. Ants will often trail each other and can easily get into cupboards and unopened packages. You can sometimes see where the ant colony originates by looking for small piles of earth around holes in soil and at the base of exterior walls.

How to prevent infestations

Black and garden ant infestations can sometimes be dealt with by pouring hot water into their nests or using a shop-bought ant powder.

Getting rid of ants

The most effective, safe way to get rid of an ant infestation is to call a pest control company like Masons Pest Control, particularly if you’re dealing with pharaoh or ghost ants which can cause a public health risk.

Scientific name


Life span

Black garden ant: 15 years, Pharaoh ant: 4 – 12 years

Did you know

One stomach holds the food for itself and second stomach is for food to be shared with other ants.

Types of ants

Black and garden ants

Black and garden ants are the most common type of ants found in the UK. They are dark coloured, around 4mm long and the most likely ant culprits you’ll find in your home. The foraging worker ants invade buildings looking for sugary food to take back to their queen and her larvae. Colonies are often built inside property walls because the sand used in house foundations make excellent sites for nests.

The flying ants that you see for a few days in July or August are reproductive males and females. Mating takes place in the air before the female ant finds a nest site where she stays for the winter, laying eggs the following spring to start up a new colony.

Pharoah ants

Pharaoh ants are a public health risk because they can contaminate food. They are a small, tropical species of ant that are a yellow-brown colour and around 2mm long. Pharaoh ants are found in large, heated buildings, especially hospitals and blocks of flats. They can be a problem for businesses working with food such as restaurants, kitchens, bars and pubs because they are attracted to greasy and fatty food, meat, sugary food and other dead insects. Once a colony of pharaoh ants has formed they can be very difficult to get rid of. However a professional pest control company like Masons Pest Control can deal with pharaoh ant invasions quickly and safely.

Ghost ants

Ghost ants are also considered a public health risk, and are becoming more common in heated buildings. They are a similar size to pharaoh ants and are pale coloured with a dark thorax and head.