Ants are social insects and live in nests, and are the most prevalent pests in households. Ants don’t hold back they will invade any building where they can find water and food, warmth and shelter.
Ants are predators, scavengers and protectors, they will happily feast on termites, fleas, and caterpillars, clean up dead insects and will protect and care for the honeydew producing insects on your plants.
Ants are a familiar insect around our home, they are easily recognised by their distinct body structure, they have three defined body segments, giving it the appearance of a thin waist.
Ant life cycle from the egg stage to adulthood may require from 6 weeks up to longer periods of confinement, there are variations depending on the species.
Ants will build nests inside your home, between walls, roof space, under kitchen cupboards, bathroom vanities, although a pest in your home they will not damage any timbers in your home.
Problems caused by Ants
Some ant species live in colonies that are supported by a single queen while others are supported by multiple queens. Although there are thousands of different ant species, there are relatively few that we commonly see as pests. These include:
Black House Ant
Black House Ants are only 2.5-3mm long. 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’, which are attracted to sweets and the light yellowish brown ‘Coastal Brown Ant’, which prefers to feed on meat products and grease.
Worker ants are 1/16” long and the Queen is 1/8 – 1/4 long. Both workers and the Queen are a yellow-brown color. Pharoah Ants originate from the tropics and require artificial heat in order to survive and reproduce and tend to live in large heated buildings such as hospitals, hotels and apartments.
About 18 – 20mm long the Bulldog Ant typically nests outdoors in soil and under logs and rocks. Located mostly in bushy areas and rarely enters buildings. A Bulldog Ant sting can inflict a very painful sting.
A variety of sized in each nest approx 2-6mm with a coppery-brown head and darker abdomen. Nests come in all shape and sizes they can be mounds or just some loose soil. Fire ants have been found around Brisbane, Logan, Ipswich, Redland and Scenic Rim. Fire ants are aggressive particularly near the nest and can inflict a very painful sting, and in extremely rare cases fire ant stings can cause a severe and sometimes fatal anaphylaxis reaction.
Although many homeowners struggle with do it yourself 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.
Termite Choices technicians are skilled, experienced professionals – they understand the habits of each species and use that knowledge when developing a control program for your home. They also have respect for you, your home, your family and your time.
The most effective treatment for ant control is known as the integrated pest management (IPM) this encompasses long and short term control that reduces the need for continuous pesticide treatment.
Gel baits can be used in hard to get to areas; they contain agents which attract ants and safe to use for you, your children and pets in the home.
A barrier application that is licensed for control of ants around areas where ant’s infestation may be originating.
Tips on ant proofing your home
Most ants come inside your home looking for food. They are attracted by sweet and sticky substances. Ant proof you home by making food unavailable:
- Always cover food – who knows where that ant has been before it crawls across your food!
- Clean food and liquid spills immediately.
- Clean food debris from under kitchen appliances.
- Make sure all garbage cans are tightly sealed.
- Keep compost piles enclosed and covered.
- Put away pet food as soon as your pet has finished eating.