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Ants are abundant insects in most gardens and often cause concern, but they are usually at most a nuisance rather than a damaging problem.
An ant collecting honeydew from aphids. Credit: RHS/Mike Ballard.
Ants are social insects that live in organised nests that contain many hundreds and sometimes thousands of ants. Most are wingless sterile females, known as workers, but there will also be fertile females, known as queen ants, and males. More than 30 species of ant are found in Britain, a few of these can occur in gardens, including the familiar black garden ant, Lasius niger.
Ants can cause concern but they are at most a nuisance rather than destructive insects.
Biological control suppliers (Adobe Acrobat pdf)
Ant nests contain one or more fertile female queen ants, which lay eggs in brood chambers within the nest. Most of the other ants in a nest are smaller wingless sterile females, which are known as worker ants. Their role is to maintain, guard and enlarge the nest, feed the larvae and gather food for the colony.
Biological pest control
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