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Temperate species living in soil or in association with dwellings. Form nests in gardens, under paving stones, in foundations or occasionally within buildings. One queen per nest. Workers very active foraging on wide range of foods including sweet substances, seeds, insects and aphid secretions 'honey dew'. Nests may survive for many years but young queens leaving the nest as 'flying ants' start new ones each year.
Egg - larva - pupa - adult
Eggs - laid by queen.
Larvae - legless grubs fed by workers, full grown in about 3 weeks.
Pupae - known (incorrectly) as 'ants eggs' , develop in 2 weeks, guarded by workers.
Adults - workers dark brown/black, 3-5 mm long. Queens winged at first, 12 mm, live for several years.
Foraging workers a nuisance but not normally a health risk. They guard aphids that damage garden plants. Sexual forms, 'flying ants', may emerge in large numbers close to or inside houses.
Only necessary where ants become serious nuisance within building. Proof entry points with sealants. Residual sprays, dusts or aerosols (some cleared for use by general public) may be used to kill or deter entry of ants. Bendiocarb particularly effective. Slow acting poison bait (sodium tetraborate) also available.
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