Biology and behaviour

Commonly found in many parts of the world, including Northern and Western Europe. Black Ants are very common throughout the UK and live quite happily alongside us in our homes and gardens.

Ants have a well defined social structure with many workers but just one queen. It's the workers that will forage for food and cause the nuisance in our homes, they are particularly attracted to sweet tasting foods often found in our kitchens, they will also feed on other insects and seeds.

Nests may survive for many years but new ones are started each year by new queens leaving the nest - these are the flying ants seen during the summer.

Black ants are not known to be a health risk and are considered more as a nuisance pest problem.


  • Black 2-3 mm in length
  • Characteristic waist
  • Strong biting mouth parts (mandibles)

Signs to look for

  • Trailing ants travelling to and from food source
  • Ants possibly found amongst foodstuff in cupboards or sugar bowl
  • Disturbances in sand or soil around the property


There are steps you can take to reduce the chances of getting ants in your home.

  • Avoid letting food debris build up.
  • Ants are difficult to keep out as they are good at finding the smallest gaps. Possible ways in to your home are cracks in mortar, gaps around windows and doors and gaps in the foundations. Where possible these should be sealed.


There are many different 'over the counter' products that you can buy for use in the treatment of black ants. As with all pesticide we recommend that you follow the manufacturer's guidelines that will be printed on the packaging

If you suspect you have a black ant problem we are on hand to offer help or advice. We respond within three working days.

Book a pest control appointment

Coventry City Council offer a chargeable service for the treatment of black ants within the home.

The current charge is £104.00 for the treatment (or £52.00 - a concession for certain benefits).

Book an appointment

Please be aware:

  • ant treatments are not 100% effective if the nest is not located
  • we will not treat ants outside your home
  • DIY powders or sprays MUST be cleaned away prior to our officers calling out

This information is also available in download form should you require an information sheet for reference.

Customer Services

Open 9am–5pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays). If you do need to call us, please try to avoid our busiest times of lunchtime and early afternoon. Many queries relating to Council Tax, benefits or bin and bulky waste collections can be dealt with directly by logging into My Account.

Telephone: 08085 834333