Depending on the species, thousands of ants can live with one or several queens in colonies. More than 6000 ant species are known. From a human viewpoint the queen is no more than a machine for laying eggs. She has an entourage of special workers and soldiers, who look after the larvae and protect the colony.
Ants generally feed on protein-rich and sugar-containing substances.
While the meadow ant workers can grow to 2 to 3.5 mm in length, the black garden ant workers are slightly bigger at 4 mm.
The meadow and black garden ants cause damage to patios or terraces and in the garden (for instance by undermining paving and damaging plants).
The pharaoh ant (Monomoriumpharaonis) is found very often in tropical countries - and in Europe too. They live in the walls of houses and find their way into the house through small cracks and joints. Since they like warmth, colonies only occur in warm places .The pharaoh ant workers grow up to 2 to 2.5 mm in length. They eat both sweet and protein-rich foods and organic waste as well. In hospitals particularly there is the danger of the pharaoh ants spreading germs of all kinds, since they also have an appetite for used bandages. They are also a hazard in commercial kitchens, bakeries, etc.