Getting rid of ants

These common insects can often find their way into our homes, often through gaps in doors and window frames.

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What do they look like?


The black or garden ant is the most common British ant to enter houses and it is found in almost all parts of the country. The worker is very dark brown, almost black and about 5mm long. The queen, who is rarely seen except for certain months in the summer, is about 15mm long and mid-brown in colour.

Photo of ants on a persons hand

Where do they live?

The queen makes the nest in the soil, in grassed areas beneath paving and patios and sometimes in hollow trees. The nests are usually outside buildings although sometimes they may be found in the walls or foundations of a house.

What do they eat?

The foraging workers follow well-defined trails to their feeding grounds, which may be many meters from the nest. They enter buildings, often through very narrow crevices, and if one ant finds food, there will soon be many others. Ants foraging for food in houses may cause considerable nuisance to the householder.

How much of a pest are they?

Worker ants will frequently enter dwellings foraging for food, particularly sweet substances. Always make sure your sugar bowls and cakes are kept covered. While not a risk to human health, they can be present in sufficient numbers to cause a nuisance.

The emergence of numerous winged ants (usually on a hot day in summer) can cause alarm to some people, particularly if these 'flying ants' are emerging inside a building.  These flying ants may be a nuisance but they are harmless and nothing can be done to stop them swarming.  This normally happens in July or June, and only lasts a few days.

How can I get rid of them?

Newcastle City Council provides a pest control service for the treatment of ants when they are in your home or business premises, In many cases, treatment may only take a few minutes and involve the application of industrial insecticide/pesticide which take effect gradually. Other infestations may take longer to eradicate and need several visits. The pest control operative will tell you what has been done.

If you do attempt treatment yourself, when using pesticides always follow the instructions on the label.


Did you know?

Pest Control Charges at a Glance. These are for private, domestic properties.
Type of Pest Typical number of treatments per charge Charge
Wasps 1 - please note that we do not remove nests (includes a non-refundable call out charge) £68.40
Mice up to 3 £84.00
Rats up to 3 £84.00
Bed Bugs to be agreed with YHN YHN only
Cockroaches up to 3 £124.00
Fleas 1 £68.40
Beetles 1 £68.40
Ants 1 £68.00
Flies 1 £68.40
Mites 1 (includes a non-refundable call out charge) £68.40
Silverfish 1 £68.40
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