Lasius neglectus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the UK: status, impact and management.
The Invasive Garden Ant, Lasius neglectus, was first recognised in Europe in 1990, and has now been recorded from at least ten European countries. It was first found in the UK in 2009 in Hidcote Manor Garden, Gloucestershire, UK, where the ant is believed to have been present for several decades. A survey of the garden shows that the ant currently occurs over an area of c.12 ha, and is found in the formal garden, buildings, adjacent woodlands, pasture, and around the edges of arable fields. Within this area, native ant species appear to have been almost entirely displaced. In buildings, the ant is a nuisance to residents, a pest in food catering facilities, and can cause damage to electrical installations. A number of measures have been put in place to reduce the risk of onward transmission of the ant to other locations, including holding all garden and building wastes on site, cessation of sending Hidcote-grown plants to other gardens, and an ant control programme using insecticide baits. Experimental treatments with 0.03% imidacloprid ant gel within the cottages at Hidcote resulted in a c. 90% reduction in ant numbers. Surveys and investigations elsewhere in the UK have not found any other locations of this species, so an eradication programme at Hidcote is being considered.