They are the two most likely species of ant to be encountered; they are very different
in biology and behaviour. Black ants a native of the UK readily enters buildings
looking for food. They live in colonies with one fertile queen, sterile females and
males. In the summer when conditions are right winged males and females leave the
nest and mate on the wing. This happens over a short period of time and may include
several colonies at once, males quickly die and surviving females will start new
colonies. Black ants do not generally carry any disease or bacteria, but they do
cause a nuisance and spoil food products. They can be controlled with baits or insecticides.
Pharaoh’s ants are a tropical ant and unlike the black ant takes advantage of heated
property, notably flats and hospitals. Ants find their way into kitchens and can
often be seen in single file trails many meters long, moving to and from food sources.
They ruin food and products and in hospitals there is a serious risk of these ants
transmitting bacteria and infectious organisms after crawling on infected surfaces
and dressings. These ants are notoriously difficult to control. Workers have the
ability to create new satellite colonies if the original one is subject to unusual