Ants

Formicidae

Ants

Hage-eitermaur (Myrmica rubra) (4728934718) by Kjetil Fjellheim (CC BY 2.0)
1 of 5
A myrmica ruba ant on a leaf
Hage-eitermaur (Myrmica rubra) (4728934718) by Kjetil Fjellheim (CC BY 2.0)
1 of 5
Ants are social insects, meaning that they live in groups comprising thousands of individuals. A typical ants nest usually is an underground structure; however, some species build mounds from overturned soil that can reach large heights. Ant colonies are usually permanent, so the ants themselves can be challenging to eradicate. They don't tend to cause damage to the garden, but they can still cause problems. For example, ants can form beneficial relationships with aphids in return for their honeydew. They'll protect aphids and their larvae from predators making them more numerous and more difficult to eradicate.
Free download for your phone or tablet
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Traits

Form mutually beneficial relationships with plants.
Can make other plant-pest problems worse.

Appearance

Ants can vary in colour and size. European species are around 1-3mm, with queens roughly 5x the size. As for colour, ants tend to be red, brown, black, or, somewhere in between.

Symptoms

They can sometimes disturb the soil surrounding garden plants, however, do little damage to the plants themselves. Because most ants nest below the soil, they can sometimes damage lawns and flowerbeds.

Activity

Diurnal

Personality

Order

Hymenoptera

Family

Formicidae

Metamorphosis

Complete

Distribution

Worldwide

Biological treatment

You should always try to tolerate ants before applying any means of treatment. They cause little to no damage and provide an abundant food resource for wildlife. Make the garden less appealing to ants by irrigating your soil regularly. Ensure container plants are watered regularly and the growing media is not allowed to dry too much. Keeping aphids under control in the garden will also help to reduce ant numbers. However, if infestations are heavy, you can apply pathogenic nematodes on the lawn and flowerbeds.

Chemical treatment

There are many ant powders, sprays and aerosols that are commercially available that can be applied to lawns and flowerbeds. However, this may only eradicate the workers above ground, rather than ants within the nest.
Free download for your phone or tablet
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Plant Knowledge

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

NEWSLETTER

Subscribe for the latest updates from Candide

What is Candide?

Candide has everything for plant lovers – buy plants from independent sellers and book tickets to visit inspiring gardens near you. Identify plants in seconds from a single photo and learn how to care for them with our in-depth guides.

OUR APP

Learn how to care for your plants and share your growing successes on Candide’s free app for your phone or tablet.

Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Germinated in Bristol © 2021 Candide