The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) are asking for help with a survey to help monitor the spread of the invasive garden ant.
The invasive garden ant (Lasius neglectus) is a pest species morphologically very similar to the native garden ant. It was first discovered in the UK in 2009 (although has probably been here undetected for much longer) and is now known to be present at six sites. Lasius neglectus has negative impacts on native insect fauna and can be a significant nuisance in buildings.
Understanding the distribution of Lasius neglectus in the UK is vital for planning a national policy response to the species and early detection greatly improves the chances of mitigating its impacts and preventing further spread. Researchers at the University of York, alongside the Animal and Plant Health Agency and other partners, are conducting a survey of sites (including gardens and botanical collections) that have a high probability of having the ant.
The survey involves placing four (non-toxic) adhesive traps baited with honey at the site, leaving them out for two weeks before collecting them and then freezing them overnight. All materials and full instruction would be supplied to the gardens along with return postage.
If you are able to help please contact Phillip at firstname.lastname@example.org
An information sheet about Lasius neglectus can be found at:
Lasius info sheet
Image of an ant attacking a scale bug ©NERC