Ant Infestation Signs
- Live ants – If you’re seeing large numbers of live ants in your home or workplace then you may well have an ant problem. If you find them in your kitchen or in areas where you prepare food, then you need to do something about it fast.
- Ant pathways – In and out of your home or premises are another sign. Some types of ant will lay down a pheromone trail to a food source. This chemical attracts other ants to find the food.
- Ant nest – A nest site can look like a small pile of soil or dirt. Some species of ant like to make their home in walls or other quiet, dark places, which are more difficult to spot.
How to Deal with an Ant Infestation
While over the counter products may help you get rid of small garden ant infestations, some species and large infestation require expert advise. To solve an existing ant infestation, contact Azalia Pest.
Our Technical team understands the differing habits of ants which helps us offer the most appropriate and effective ant control solution. All our treatments are safe for your family and your pets.
- Ants are insects belonging to the order Hymenoptera.
- The total biomass of all ants on earth is roughly equal to the total biomass of all the human population. It is estimated that for every one human being there are at least 1.5 million ants.
- Ants occupy almost all parts of the world. Research shows that there are over 12000 ant species in the world except for the Antarctica.
- Ants don’t have ears and they get around by sensing vibrations in their surroundings. They also navigate by following pheromone trails and working together with fellow ants.
Get Rid of Ants in Your Home
Although many homeowners employ DIY ant control remedies, the results are often less than satisfactory. Small problems can develop into large ones and this is when many people seek out the services of a pest control professional.
Once they’ve identified the species of ant invading your home, they can use a range of powerful insecticides to get rid of ants efficiently. This gives you the reassurance that the problem has been dealt with fully.
Treatments are targeted to the specific ant species in order to solve the problem quickly, whilst ensuring the safety of your family and pets.
Once the ants have been dealt with, you can take precautions to stop them from coming back. One particularly important precaution is covering any food in storage areas; you don’t know where ants have been walking before they march across your food (and in most cases, they have come into contact with unsanitary areas before they decide to feast on your meal!).
Call Azalia Pest on 0718 937 998 to talk to an expert to get rid of ants in the home.
Get Rid of Ants in Your Business
In the commercial environment ants are more than just a nuisance. They can cost you money and harm your reputation. This is particularly true in organisations that handle food or need to keep areas sterile.
Premises like pubs, restaurants, hospitals, offices, warehouses and other buildings that store food and water need to make sure they have the highest standards of hygiene, and that means being ant-free.
Without adequate ant control in your business you could suffer from:
- Waste – Contaminated food and other products will have to be thrown away, costing you money and resources.
- Fear – Infestations in places like hospitals and care homes can spread pathogens (e.g. Pharoah Ants) and alarm patients or residents and lead them to question your hygiene standards.
- Reputation Damage – If your reputation suffers so too will your profits, as customers are put off by the presence of ants.
Steps to Take to Effectively Get Rid of Ants
Our professional Pest Control Technicians understand the habits of different types of ants and can offer discreet and targeted ant control. It goes without saying that all our ant control treatments are safe for your staff and customers. Give us a call and we’ll set the following plan in motion to get rid of ants:
- Our pest control consultant will arrange a convenient time with you for a free inspection inside and outside your premises.
- The consultant will recommend a treatment plan based on your ant infestation and on your particular business sector, and give you a cost to put the plan into action.
- Once you’ve approved the price, the consultant will arrange times for a technician to visit. You may need several visits depending on the ant control treatment we use.
- On the first visit, the Technician will run through the treatment process before the work begins.
- We can also set up regular ant control inspections for you so the problem doesn’t come back.
If you’re worried that you might be at risk from an ant infestation, you can put in place some simple ant repellant and ant control measures. The checklist below will help you keep your home or business free from ants, or make sure the infestation doesn’t grow.
Most ants only come into your home to look for food. They are attracted to anything that’s sweet and sticky, which is why you find ants in kitchen cupboards or areas where food is kept.
With that in mind it’s important to not leave temptation in their path. To get rid of ants you must remember the following ant control tips:
- Clear up – food and liquid spillages immediately.
- Sweep up – any food crumbs from under your kitchen appliances and units.
- Store your food – in airtight containers wherever possible.
- If you have a pet – clear away any food that isn’t eaten straight away.
- Block off – the entry points for ants by sealing all cracks and crevices around your doors and window frames.
- In the garden – keep your compost enclosed and make sure all rubbish bins have tightly sealed lids.
Above all, cover any food in storage areas; you don’t know where ants have been walking before they march across your food.
Did you know once an ant has discovered a food source it leaves a pheromone trail? This chemical helps other ants from the colony to find the food too.
Find out how to get rid of ants or contact us to speak with an expert for an ant control solution.
Expert Help With Ant Repellents
Our Pest Control Technicians know what’s what when it comes to ant deterrents. They understand the habits of different types of ant and can offer the most appropriate and effective solution. They can also help you remove infestations and activity around your home or business. It goes without saying that all our treatments are safe for people and pets.
How to Ant-Proof Your Home
Most ants come inside your home looking for food. They are attracted by sweet and sticky substances. As a first step in ant control, be sure to make food unavailable:
- Always cover food; who knows where that ant has been before it crawls across your food!
- Clean food and liquid spills as soon as possible to avoid attracting ants
- Clean food debris from under kitchen appliances
- Make sure all garbage cans are tightly sealed
- Keep compost piles sealed off and covered
- Store away pet food as soon as your pet(s) have finished eating
You can also help prevent ants entering your home by sealing access points such as cracks and fissures in door and window frames with caulking or sealant.
Common Ant Species
Some ant species live in colonies that are supported by a single queen while others are supported by multiple queens. Although there are 550 known species of ants in Kenya, there are relatively few types of ants that we commonly see as pests.
Ants taking over your property? Learn about helpful ant prevention tips you can implement to keep them out.
Need a professional solution? Find out about the steps you can take to get rid of ants.
- Workers about 1.6mm long.
- Light to dark brown in colour.
- Do not swarm.
- Bite – do not sting.
- Worker ants produced in spring and increase in numbers up until autumn.
- Winged ants (reproductive Kings and Queens), produced in early spring, before the workers, mature within three months and mate soon afterwards.
- Argentine ants mate in their nest so no swarming is seen.
- Worker ants will follow food trails for long distances so nests are not easy to track.
- They prefer sweet foods but will also eat live and dead insects, meats, cereals and damaged fruit.
- Argentine ants drive out other ant species from an area.
Black House Ant
- Shiny and black.
- 2.5 – 3mm long.
- Larva hatches out of the egg as a white grub which is narrower towards the head. They are fed by the adults.
- The larva pupates and appears creamy-white, looking similar to an adult. Sometimes they have a protective silk cocoon around them.
- The adult emerges with the three defined body sections: head, thorax and abdomen.
- The length of time between the egg stage and ants emerging as adults can take 6 weeks or more; it depends on a variety of factors such as the species of ant, the temperature and the availability of food.
- Fertilised eggs become female, unfertilised become males.
- These ants are regarded as a nuisance and scavenge in kitchens, garbage and also dog excrement, therefore potentially spreading diseases such as salmonella.
- ‘Common Ants’ include the intensely black ‘Black House Ants’, and they are attracted to sweets.
- The light yellowish brown ‘Coastal Brown Ant’ prefers to feed on meat products and grease.
- The most effective control measure is to find the colony and treat it.
Coastal Brown Ant
- About 1.5-2.5mm long.
- Tend to be yellow brown to brown.
- Eggs laid are small in size.
- Larvae are fed by the adults and after several moults the larvae pupate.
- Once adults, 3 different castes exist:
- – Workers are wingless and sterile that lives for approximately a year. Workers are the nest-builders, food suppliers, feed larvae, look after eggs and defend the nest.
- – Males are winged and exist to mate with females.
- – Females are also winged until after mating and are also the largest in size. Females become the reproductive queen of the colony and live for many years.
- Nest in soil and build along pathways around the house including gardens and walls.
- Dry areas for nesting.
- Will excavate leaving mounds along foot paths and other areas that are unsightly.
- Will attack foods around the property including meat, sweets, fruit and greasy foods.
- Queens 15mm long.
- Workers 3-6mm long.
- Coppery–brown on the head and body, with a darker abdomen.
- Solenopsis has a very distinctive two–segment antennal club, which is most visible in the front view of the female reproductive ant.
- After swarming from the nest and mating, the queen searches for a suitable spot to lay her eggs. Once found, she can lay up to 125 eggs in late Spring.
- Larvae hatch within 8 to 10 days, and the pupal stage lasts for 9 to 16 days.
- Larvae feed on secretions from the queen’s salivary glands and broken down wing muscles until the first worker ants emerge. After this first batch of larvae moult into workers the queen’s role returns to egg laying – she can lay up to 1500 per day. Worker ants continue with larval care, nest building and food foraging.
- Fertile males are produced later in the season.
- Foraging workers diet consists of dead animals, including insects, earthworms, and vertebrates. Workers also collect honeydew and forage for sweet food, proteins, and fats.
- Swarming characteristics – mating between queens and fertile males takes place on the wing mid to late Summer. Males perish after mating.
- Nest locations can be a mound of up to 40 cm or next to objects found on the ground, e.g. logs.
- If aggravated, these react aggressively and can inflict a painful sting, resulting in a pustule some 48 hours later.
- These ants are a major agricultural and urban pest, destroying crops and invading residential areas both outdoors and indoors.
- Workers 4-5mm long.
- Queens 15mm long.
- Dark brown-black in colour.
- 1 small segment at waist point (pedicel).
- No sting present.
- Queens overwinter in soil. Eggs are laid in late spring.
- Larvae hatch 3-4 weeks later.
- Larvae feed on secretions from the queen’s salivary glands until the first worker ants emerge.
- Worker ants continue with larval care, nest building and food foraging.
- Fertile males are produced later in the season.
- Foraging worker ants follow well–defined trails around food sources. Sweet foods are preferred but high protein foods will also be taken.
- Swarming characteristics – mating between queens and fertile males takes place on the wing mid to late summer. Males perish after mating.
- Nest locations – often outdoors in soil and below paving slabs on the sunny side of buildings.
- Nest locations can be identified by the presence of finely powdered soil around nest exit holes.
- Dark brown or blackish.
- 3mm long.
- 6 legs.
- 2 spines on the back.
- 2 nodes on petiole.
- Grooves on head and thorax.
- Thorax uneven with 1 pair of spines.
- 12-segmented antennae with 3-segmented club.
- Winged ants are often mistaken for termites.
- Visible spring and summer.
- Have been known to emerge any time of the year in heated structures.
- Feeding – eat almost anything that humans eat, and also pet food.
- Visibility – seen entering houses looking for food, most often at night. May move through pipes and electrical wires.
- Nesting – in lawns or under stones, wood, or boards. Mounds built along sidewalks, baseboards, and near foundations in clusters.
- Colonies found near water.
- Workers 1.5-2mm long, yellow-brown with brown abdomen.
- Males 3mm long, black, winged.
- Queens 3.5-6mm long, dark red in colour with wings.
- Black eyes, 2 small segments at the pedicel.
- Multi-queen colonies.
- Swarming can take place at any time of the year.
- Winged adults seldom fly so rarely seen. Wings are soon lost after mating.
- Well–defined trails are laid which are often associated with heating systems. Feeds indoors on high protein foods — meat, fats, blood, dead insects, etc.
- Swarming characteristics — new colonies are often formed through nests that have been disturbed e.g., as a result of insecticide spray treatments.
- Each queen produces up to 3,500 eggs in its lifetime.
- Nest locations — deep seated in cavities in heated buildings. Often found in hospitals. Associated with humid conditions. Colonies can range from a few dozen to 300,000 individuals.
- This species vary greatly in shape, size and colour.
- Range from 2.5 to 15 mm, and are some of the most often seen ants due to their size and often bright in colouring.
- The ant’s life cycle passes through egg, larva, pupa and adult phases.
- Often nests in a variety of sites ranging from holes in wood to the roots of plants, twigs of trees and shrubs, between rocks or in the soil.
- They can also be seen during the day however, they are most active at night.
- They are unable to sting, but they do possess strong mandibles which can bite. In self-defense these ants are also able to spray acid from their abdomens to deter predators.
- They feed on dead and lives insects, household waste and are attracted by sweet food.
- They rarely enter houses.
How many ant species are found in Kenya?
There are around 15,000 ant species and subspecies worldwide, with just over 1000 known in Kenya so far. Ants are found in all regions of Kenyan and in all terrestrial habitats. Refer to our Common Ant Species page for details of familiar species in Kenya.
How many ants can I find in a colony?
Ant colonies can range in size from a dozen or so to many thousands.
How big can ants grow?
Ants can vary from 1.5mm to 15mm length. Refer to our Common Ants Species.
Can ants harm me?
Some ants – such as fire ants – can give painful stings, while the garden ant has swarming characteristics that can contaminate food. Unlike bees, ants can sting multiple times.
What are the common signs of ants?
To learn about ant infestation signs, refer to our page on common signs of ants.
What can I do to get rid of ants?
While a wide range of do-it-yourself products are available for ants, often effective ant control requires a professional pest control operator. For further details of what can be done, refer to our page on how to get rid of ants.
What steps can I take to prevent ants entering my home or premise?
Most ants come inside your home or business looking for food. They are attracted to sweet and sticky substances. It is important to clean up any food and liquid spillages immediately and to cover any food in storage areas. In addition, to prevent ants from entering your home, seal access points such as cracks and crevices in door and window frames. For further details, refer to our page on preventing ants entering your home or premise.
Common Fly Species
Flies can regularly be found in homes and businesses across Kenya.
Some species are more common than others and are attracted to different environments suited to their natural habits and lifecycle.
Knowing about the size, habits, seasonality and lifecycle of different fly species, can help to identify the most effective prevention and fly control methods.
FACT: On average, the adult housefly will live for around 30 days. They go through a complete four-stage cycle that consists of egg, larva, pupa and adult stages.
Horse flies are a particular pest to livestock. Relentless biting attacks by females can result in reduced weight gain in some animals.
Male horse flies are mainly pollen and nectar feeders and are most active during daylight hours.
Horse fly bites can be very painful for humans too.They have mouth parts that work like miniature knives, which they use to slash open the skin with a scissor–like motion.
- Adults can be up to 25 mm long.
- Black to dark brown in colour with green or black eyes.
- The males have contiguous eyes, which easily differentiates them from females where the eyes are widely separated.
- Horse fly bites can be very painful.
- Mating is initiated in the air and completed on the ground where the female then deposits an egg mass sometimes with a shiny or chalky secretion, which aids in water protection.
- Eggs are laid in masses ranging from 100 to 1000 eggs on a vertical surface overhanging water or wet ground favourable to larvae development. The eggs hatch in 5–7 days.
- They overwinter in the larval stage and pupate during the spring and early summer.
- Adult life cycle is 30 to 60 days.
Bluebottle flies (also known as Blow fly) can often be seen hovering around dustbins. These scavengers are attracted to pet faeces and dead animals and as such are known carriers of disease.
Their name originates from their iridescent colours that are similar to coloured bottles.
- Adult is 30-36mm in length.
- Metallic blue colour.
- Larva — Similar to the house fly larva in all respects except size. 19mm when mature. They take 7 – 12 days to mature.
- Eggs hatch 0 – 18 hrs (partial development may occur within the female).
- Breeds in mostly meat derived substances, sometimes cheese.
- Common pest of dead rodents/birds etc.
Cluster flies are commonly found in quiet, undisturbed parts of your home, such as attics and wall voids. They require warm places to hibernate over winter.
You may see a large group of cluster flies around a window, as they are attracted to the light on sunny winter days.
- 6–10mm in length.
- Dark grey–olive thorax clothed with crinkled golden–brown hairs.
- Wings overlap when at rest.
- Sluggish in flight.
- Eggs laid in soil in late summer or early autumn.
- Larva develop in earthworms – feeding on their host for several days. Then they molt and pupate in the soil.
- Development time from egg to adult is about 27 to 39 days.
Adult sand flies can be seen from April to September. They live on sandy riverbanks with an open habitat free of shading trees.
Females prefer to lay their eggs in damp soil or in the water.
- Adult — 10–11mm long.
- Body has a pale grey colour.
- Eyes are bronze–brown.
- Legs are dark reddish–brown.
- The larvae can take up to two years to develop and live in loose sand.
- In the pupal stage the larvae curls into a circle or “u” shape lasting one or two weeks.
Fruit flies are commonly found infesting fruit or hovering around fermenting residues found in pubs, fruit orchards & vegetables plots and breweries
- 3mm in length.
- Yellow–brown or mottled in colour.
- Bright red eyes.
- Abdomen hangs down in flight, which is slow.
- Tend to hover.
- They can breed in rotten fruit, unclean drains and even cleaning utensils.
- Develops to adult in 7–30 days.
- Adult lives 2–9 weeks.
- In ideal temperature conditions, fruit flies can complete their development in as little as 1 week.
House flies are major carriers of disease and can infest all types of premises. They are attracted to all types of food, including human food, pet food, animal feed, food waste and even faeces. Seeing adult flies is usually the most common sign of activity and a potential problem. Larvae may also be seen as they crawl out of breeding material to pupate.
- Adult is 5–8mm in length.
- Grey thorax with 4 narrow stripes.
- Buff or yellow abdomen.
- Covered with small hairs that serve as taste organs.
- Complex compound eyes – with thousands of lenses allows them a wide field of vision.
- 4th wing vein bent and wing tips slightly pointed.
- Larva is white and tapers to a point at the head end. There are 2 spiracle “spots” at the hind end, is legless and 12 mm in length when mature.
House flies are able to quickly mature from an egg to an adult. They breed in moist decaying vegetable matter eg. in uncovered dustbin or pet food.
- Eggs are laid in batches of 120 to 150 and can hatch in 8 – 72 hours.
- The larvae of House Flies can take 3 – 60 days to mature.
- Pupae matures in 3 – 28 days.
Once indoors, house flies can be found resting on walls, floors or ceilings. Outdoors they can be seen on plants, the ground, fences, compost heaps and rubbish bins.
At night them they prefer to rest near food sources approx. 1.5-4.5m off the ground.
Drain flies are often associated with sewage beds, where larvae feed on sludge–like organic matter. They are also known by a variety of names; drain fly, sewage fly and moth fly are a few examples.
- 2mm in length.
- Tan coloured body appears as grey.
- Wings densely covered in hair and held tent–like over the body when at rest.
- Eggs hatch 1–6 days.
- Larvae 10–50 days to mature.
- Pupae 1–3 days to mature.
Lacewings are considered an important predator of mealybugs in both greenhouses and interior plantscapes.
They also feed on (among others) several species of aphids, spider mites (especially red mites), thrips, whiteflies, small caterpillars and beetle larvae.
Adults are active fliers, particularly during the evening and at night. They have a characteristic fluttering flight.
- Approx 12–20mm long.
- Adults are pale green.
- Long antennae and bright, golden eyes.
- They have large, transparent, pale green wings and a delicate body.
They feed on pollen and also need nectar or honeydew as food before laying eggs.
- Oval shaped eggs are laid at the end of long silken stalks. These single eggs start off green and turn grey after a few days.
- The active larvae are grey or brownish. They are alligator–like with well–developed legs and large pincers with which they suck the body fluids from prey insects such as aphids.
Lacewings are often used as a biological integrated insect control program.
- 3mm in length. Yellow–brown or mottled in colour with bright red eyes.
- Abdomen hangs down in flight, which is slow.
- Tend to hover.
- Female can lay up to 500 eggs.
- Develops to adult in about 7 days.
- Adult only lives for about 2 weeks.
- Breeds in fermenting residues found in pubs, fruit & vegetables, breweries, etc.
- Larvae feeds on bacteria and yeast in rotting fruit and veg.
- May also breed in unclean drains and cleaning utensils.
(Family – Sarcophagidae)
- 6-14mm long.
- Thorax is light grey and has 3 dark longitudinal stripes.
- Abdomen is also light grey, spotted with dark patches to give a checker board appearance.
- Lifecycle lasts for 2-4 weeks.
- The female deposits live larvae on a suitable feeding medium (this can range from spoilt meat or fish, or animal excrement, or in decaying food waste found in garbage bins).
- Larvae feed for a few days, then move away from the feeding medium to pupate in adjacent drier parts.