Garden ants (Lasius niger), which measure 3-5mm in length, are one of the most commonly encountered species of ant in the United Kingdom. Garden ants only have one queen within the nest and 15-20,000 sterile female workers that spend most of their life outside living in sandy soil and under flagstones. Worker ants actively seek out sugary food stuffs and once a food source has been identified, the workers will pass some of the food gathered to other workers who will follow the chemical trail to the source.
Recognising Garden Ants
Ants can spread bacteria from their body onto food, food preparation surfaces and utensils. Due to their relatively small size ants can also enter food causing physical contamination.