Black Garden Ant

Lasius niger

About

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 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.

Where to find it

Widespread.

Habitats

When to find it

  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October

How can people 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. The Wildlife Trusts work with pest controllers to find the most wildlife-friendly solutions to some of our everyday problems.

Species information

Common name
Black Garden Ant
Latin name
Lasius niger
Category
Invertebrates
Bees and wasps
Statistics
Length: 3mm
Conservation status
Common.