Appearance - Shiny and black, 2.5 - 3mm long.
Larva hatches out of the egg as a white grub which is narrower towards the head. They are fed by the adults. The larva pupates and appears creamy-white, looking similar to an adult. Sometimes they have a protective silk cocoon around them. The adult emerges with the three defined body sections: head, thorax and abdomen. The length of time between the egg stage and ants emerging as adults can take 6 weeks or more; it depends on a variety of factors such as the species of ant, the temperature and the availability of food. Fertilised eggs become female, unfertilised become males.
These ants are regarded as a nuisance and scavenge in kitchens, garbage and also dog excrement, therefore potentially spreading diseases such as salmonella.
'Common Ants' include the intensely black 'Black House Ants', and they are attracted to sweets.
The most effective control measure is to find the colony and treat it.
Ants are not just a nuisance; they can cause diseases such as salmonella by carrying it on their bodies and depositing it on food; they can cause electrical problems or even house fires; they can cause problems with communication and transport systems; and they also sting-bite and just plainly irritate us.
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