Garden Ant

Garden Ant

Lasius niger

Appearance

Image of a Garden or Black Ant (Lasius niger)| Rentokil Pest Control NZ
  • Workers 4–5mm long.
  • Queens 15mm long.
  • Dark brown–black in colour.
  • 1 small segment at waist point (pedicel).
  • No sting present.

Lifecycle

  • Queens overwinter in soil. Eggs are laid in late spring. Larvae hatch 3–4 weeks later.
  • Larvae feed on secretions from the queen's salivary glands until the first worker ants emerge.
  • Worker ants continue with larval care, nest building and food foraging.
  • Fertile males are produced later in the season.

Habits

  • Foraging worker ants follow well–defined trails around food sources. Sweet foods are preferred but high protein foods will also be taken.
  • Swarming characteristics – mating between queens and fertile males takes place on the wing mid to late summer. Males perish after mating.
  • Nest locations – often outdoors in soil and below paving slabs on the sunny side of buildings. Nest locations can be identified by the presence of finely powdered soil around nest exit holes.