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1078 Views 5 Replies Last post: Sep 25, 2011 7:32 PM by Paul Beuk RSS
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Sep 17, 2011 5:20 PM

Is this an ant ?

Hello,

 

I'm trying to identify a type of bug that we keep finding in our dining room.  The dining room has oak floor boards and faces onto a conservatory.

 

I believe the bugs are coming from behind skirting board on the wall closet to the conservatory but can not be certain.

 

I suspect they are ants (flying) but I thought they only lived / appeared for a day or so each year when the conditions were exactly right and these bugs keep appearing almost daily.  Also, I have found no other non-flying ants in either the dining room or conservatory.

 

Please find attached 4 photos which I hope are clear enough.

 

Once identified please could someone suggest the best way to get rid of them i.e. self treat - council - rent-o-kill.

 

Many thanks in advance for any advice provided.

 

Dave.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 17, 2011 6:12 PM (in response to Catt1)
    Re: Is this an ant ?

    Yes, they're winged ants, queens produced this year to form colonies of their own. As you say, normally they only appear in houses for a few days each year when it's hot and still. We've had them in our bathroom this year - I would guess they've appeared on about 10 days in all.

     

    There are plenty of ant killers you can buy (in garden centres etc.) before you resort to the council or pest control companies. I tried spraying ours where they seemed to be coming in and although that killed plenty they still kept coming - after all ant colonies can number thousands. There are baits that the worker ants take back to the nest with them and that wipes out the entire nest, in theory. Worth a try, though I've not had much success with them. 

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        Sep 25, 2011 2:59 PM (in response to Catt1)
        Re: Is this an ant ?

        They certainly are flying ants - I have a PhD in ants so am pretty confident!

         

        These look like Lasius niger (although I'm a fraction less confident there) and certainly their winged form normally only occurs a few days a year, but perhaps the extra warmth of your conservatory is confusing them into thinking conditions are right for flight for a longer period?

         

        If they are Lasius niger then one of the branded ant killers out there should work as they normally only have one queen, and the ant killers are designed to be taken back to the nest and fed to the queen, which kills her leading to the death of the colony. They're not fool proof for all sorts of reasons I won't go into, but they often work and are certainly worth a try, as Jaguarondi said.

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        Sep 25, 2011 3:21 PM (in response to Catt1)
        Re: Is this an ant ?

        Well, I can't claim to be an expert on ants. My familiarity with them is due to having them in the house, like you.

         

        All your photos are of queens. Have you seen any workers? I ask because the leg colour makes me wonder whether they're yellow ants, Lasius flavus, (queen yellow ants are darker than the workers) and that might be why they're so persistent. I had them in my house one year and, unlike black ants, they emerged in the middle of the house not around the edge. That's because they're more subterranean. The good news is that, from what I can remember, they readily took bait type poisons, unlike black ants. Still kept coming though.

         

        Anyway, after a quick search I found this page. Hope it helps

        http://www.ehow.co.uk/how_6652183_rid-meadow-ants.html

        But a photo of the workers might help identify the species

         

        PS - just seen Penguin's reply so perhaps you should ignore mine!

         

        Message was edited by: jaguarondi - to add last sentence

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          Sep 25, 2011 7:32 PM (in response to jaguarondi)
          Re: Is this an ant ?

          I think the Lasius flavus is a good suggestion because it certainly is not Lasius niger. We had an 'incidence' earlier this year in our Museum. During a period of about four to five weeks we had scores of Lasius niger ants indoors, 'miraculously' appearing during the night when no-one was there to witness where they came from. My suspicion is that adult queens were sent to a waiting chamber to await the right circumstances to swarm. Accidentally, the waiting chamber turned out to be the small space under the door which leads into out garden. For the ants, this chambers goes on without end and when the sun rises it is not dark either. So, in the daylight they started aggregating on the windows, day after day. Almost exclusively females, just an occasional male. After the first day with suitable days for swarming they were gone.

          So, perhaps your house has a similar entrance for the ants that might be interpreted as a suitable waiting chamber for adult females.

           

          During our holiday we we on a camping site and we saw preciously little ants in or around the food in the tent, nor when we were having meals. To my wife's horror, one day the (outside) roof of the tent was swarming with ants. In the end the ants were there for about a week, numbers declining when the weather got cooler with less sun, increasing again on warmer and sunnier days. We were lucky they day we went home was not sunny so we did not have to pack the ants...

           

          Paul

          IMG_1690.JPG

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