Lasius niger - Black Garden Ant

Lasius niger - Black Garden Ant
The black garden ant is one of the commonest ants in the UK, and can be a bit of a pest in the garden and home because they farm honeydew from aphids, or enter the home looking for sweet food. It often builds its nests under stones, paving slabs or under concrete paths even sometimes in the morter aound the bricks of the house.

The winged males and queens leave the nest during hot humid weather in July and August. The males die after mating and the queens shed their wings. Queens are almost twice as large as the workers with workers usually 3 - 5mm in length while the queen can be 8mm or more. They will eat a wide variety of things such as strawberries from the garden, seeds, nectar or small flies and other insects.

Briefly the life cycle is, eggs are laid by the queen in spring, which then hatch into larvae (small white grubs) in approx 3 weeks. These are fed by the queen for a further 3 weeks before they pupate. The first workers then hatch approximately 2 weeks later and take on the role of looking after the nest and future larvae.


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