Scientific name: Lasius niger
The Black Garden Ant is common in many habitats, including gardens where nests form under paving stones, in soil and between brickwork. During hot and humid summer weather, winged adults appear and swarm in large numbers; these ‘flying ants’ mate and eventually disperse to form new colonies. The colonies of the Black Garden Ant are huge, featuring thousands of workers which collect food, keep the nest clean and look after young, and a queen who produces the eggs. The diet of the Black Garden Ant is varied but it includes ‘milking’ (stroking) aphids for their honeydew.
How to identify the Black Garden Ant?
The Black Garden Ant is the common small ant in gardens, which may also turn up indoors, searching for sugary food. Workers are small, wingless and brown-black, with nipped in waists, while the flying adults are larger and browner.
How can I help?
Black Garden Ants can be serious pests, particularly when they invade houses, but mostly they will live side-by-side with humans without cause for concern.