This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

Bakers advised to watch out for tropical pest

29 November 2021

Bakery businesses are being urged to understand the risks posed by a small tropical species. Pharoah ants are tiny but can create huge colonies that will split if threatened and can potentially spiral out of control, says the British Pest Control Association (BPCA). 

In the UK, the pests will only be found in the structures of large centrally-heated buildings such as bakeries, high-rise flats and hospitals.

Specialist products can effectively control the heat-loving insects – which are frequently found in the boiler rooms of interconnected buildings and, quite commonly, trailing down surfaces close to high heat sources such as ovens – but training and knowledge are key to tackling a nest of Pharoah ants.

Natalie Bungay, technical manager at BPCA, said: “Pharoah ant nests can vary in size, but they can grow to massive proportions, with research finding nests containing 50,000 workers and 100,000 ants in the young stages. Only 5-10% of workers forage for food, so a trail of Pharoah ants down the face of a wall or machine is just a small part of the picture.

“The workers may respond to danger by ‘budding’ - sometimes referred to as ‘satelliting’ – and will move pupae and young larvae away from the original colony, which can lead to the ants spreading throughout a building or complex, and the infestation spiralling out of control.”

Professional pest controllers should always be called in to tackle an infestation of Pharoah ants as specialist products and careful surveying are required for successful treatment.

“A hormone bait can be used to sterilise queens and prevent larvae from developing, but this system can mean that controlling the infestation could take around four months,” said Bungay. “Newer, in-depth surveying and gel bait products mean control can be achieved within two or three weeks, but a carefully planned and implemented strategy, delivered by a professional pest controller, is the key to success.”

More information can be found at bpca/

Contact Details and Archive...

Print this page | E-mail this page