Primary Pest Control - The Termite Specialists
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For most people ants only become a problem when they enter houses and buildings in search of food and water or when they build their nests in buildings or gardens. Ants are among the most common pests in households. They also invade restaurants, hospitals, offices, hotels and other buildings where they can find what they need. Ants may be almost omnivorous, with different species having preferences for sugars, proteins, fats and oils. They can be attracted to a wide range of foods, during extended dry periods they will also search for water.
Ants are social insects that typically live in more or less permanent nests. Adult ants are one of three different colony castes; queens, workers or males. In Australia, more than 3000 ant species are known, but there are comparatively few seen as pests, which are listed as followed:
Latine name: Linepithemahumile
The color of Argentine Ants range from light to dark brown. Their body measures about 2.2 to 2.8 mm, while their antennae have 12 segments. Argentine Ants bite and do not sting.
Argentine ants are easily adaptable and can nest in a huge variety of places. Colonies can be massive and may contain hundreds of queens. Worker ants will follow food trails for long distances, so nests are not easy to track. But they are usually located in moist soil, next to or under buildings, along sidewalks or beneath boards.
Argentine ants are omnivorous, which means that they can eat almost anything. They prefer sweet foods, but will also eat meat, cereals and fruits.
Black House Ant
Latin name: Ochetellusglaber
The Black House Ant appears with a shiny and intensely black color and measures about 2.5-3mm. They are often a pest of domestic environments and will build their nest in cracks or gaps, beside pathways.
These ants have a preference for sugary liquids, however, this species also feed on seeds and plants so can be a pest in stored food facilities. They also eat honeydew which is excreted from sap-sucking insects, as a result they are known to tent to aphids and bugs on domestic plants.
The Black House Ant is regarded as a plague, while looking for food in kitchens and garbage. They also scavenge in dog feces, therefore a potentially risk of spreading diseases such as salmonella is given.
To treat this pest effectively, the colony must be found first and then be treatend with the specific products.
Latin name: Mymecia
The Bulldog Ant is one of the largest sized species of ants in Australia. They measure 15-36mm in length and appear either with a red or a black body. This species is also known as a Bull Ant or Jumper Ant, and has very long, straight, distinguishing mandibles which make them instantly recognizable with large eyes.
They are located mostly in bushy areas and typically nest outdoor in soil and under logs or rockets. Known for their aggressive nature, there will be massive outpouring attacks, if their nest is disturbed. The Bulldog Ant produces a potent, venom-filled sting, which causes incredible pain for the victim. The stinger doesn´t remain in the victim, so they can sting repeatedly. An allergic reaction or multiple bites in humans can lead to anaphylactic shock.
The Bulldog Ant forages for protein based food which mainly includes other insects. They also enjoy nectar, seeds and fruits, as well as things such as honeydew from scale insects.
Coastal Brown Ant
Latin name: Pheidolemegacephala
The Coastal Brown Ant measures 1.5-2.5mm and tends to have a yellow brown to brown body. It is also known as ‘Big headed ant’ and is a very successful invasive species. It has been nominated as one of the hundred ‘World’s Worst’ invaders.
The Coastal Brown Ant can be found nesting in protected locations such as under rocks, pavers, at the base of trees and shrubs and within pot plants. But also in soil and build along pathways around the house, including gardens and walls. During the dry season they often nest near watering systems and dripper lines for access to moisture. This species will hardly nest inside.
Big headed ants are omnivorous, which feed on seeds as well as insects. They are scavengers, commonly going inside houses to look for meat, pet food and oily food such as peanut butter. Their favored locations within a house are the kitchen and the bathroom. Grease on kitchen walls, stoves and dish clothes will attract them easily.
Latin name: Solenopsisinvicta
The Fire Ant appears with a coppery-brown head and body and a darker abdomen. Their body measures 3.18-6.35mm.
This species typically nest in the ground. Fire ants favor warm, sunny conditions, prefer dry fields and avoid shady areas such as woods.They are very active and aggressive and will sting any intruding enemy repeatedly. Fire ant stings are painful for most humans and fatal to some: if a victim experiences a severe reaction such as sweating, nausea or excessive itching, emergency medical services should be contacted immediately. Their sting, which includes alkaloid venom, is highly irritating to humans and results in red bumps and white pustules, which can ultimately lead to scarring. The sensation of a fire ant burn has been described as “stinging” and “intense burning,” and fire ants are known to attack potential threats or prey in large numbers.
Fire ants are omnivores, meaning they will feed on animal or vegetable sources of food. They also collect honeydew and forage for sweet food, proteins and fats.
Latin name: Lasiusniger
The Black Garden Ant workers are 4-6 mm long, wingless and black or dark brown. The queen is larger (up to 15 mm long) and mid-brown in color but is only seen if the nest is excavated. These are the flying ants which everybody associates with in middle to late summer.
Black Garden Ants nest mainly in dry soil and humus. Although their nests are most often noticed in gardens – in flower beds, lawns, and under paving stones – they are also common in dry grasslands and heaths. From their nests, they forage widely for food along scent-marked trails across soil and ground vegetation, and – most noticeably – across paved surfaces and into houses, where they are attracted to sugar and crumbs.
The Black garden ant prefers sweet foods like ripe fruit, but also feeds on honeydew produced by aphids, and will even care for young aphids in order to harvest their honeydew. Other insects like mealybugs, whiteflies, and planthoppers are favorite sources of honeydew for the black garden ant. The black garden ant will actively forage after any food items, specifically greasy or sweet ones, indoors.
Latin name: Tapinomamelanocephalum
The ghost ant gets its name from its size and pale color of its legs and abdomen, which make it difficult to see. These ants have dark heads and thoraxes. The workers are about 1.3 to 1.5 mm long.
Outdoors, ghost ants make their nest in the ground. They often nest beside stones, logs and firewood piles. They enter buildings on trails that they make along the ground. They also enter houses by trailing on utility lines or by following limbs of trees and shrubs that touch the house.When ghost ants make nests indoors, it is usually in flowerpots, behind baseboards and inside wall voids. The colony may split into several nests. It is normal to find ghost ants trailing between multiple nesting sites.
These ants eat honeydew that they collect from plant-feeding insects. They often tend aphids to collect the honeydew. When they are indoors, ghost ants usually prefer sweets.
Green-head Ants are one of the most common ant species in some parts of Australia. It is a metallic-green coloured ant, which generally measures 5–7 mm.
Green-head ants are found throughout Australia and are common in open forests, woodlands, grasslands and pastures. They nest in the soil, either in open ground or under rocks and logs. These ants are seldom found nesting inside houses. Green-head ants are one of the commonest garden ants in south-eastern Queensland where they are responsible for most ant stings. The sting is painful but generally short-lived, but is known to produce severe allergic reactions in some people.
These scavengers primarily hunt for proteins and oils. They are also predators of smaller insects and will happily live on the sweet sticky secretions of aphids and other sap sucking insects.
Latin name: Monomoriumpharaonis
Pharaoh ants are very small—about 2 mm long. They have light yellow bodies with red and black markings on the abdomen.
Pharaoh ants can build nests in walls, cabinet voids, behind baseboards, refrigerator insulation, the hollows of curtain rods, the folds of clothes, sheets and paper and other undisturbed dark spaces. A colony of pharaoh ants will scatter if a toxic substance disturbs it, creating multiple problems where there had been only one. In controlling pharaoh ants, it is often advisable to seek professional help.
Pharaoh ants eat food of all types, but especially sweets. They will also eat other insects.
Latin name: Monomorium destructor
The Singapore Ant appears with a light brown body with darker posterior abdomen and measure about 2-3mm.
This species typically nests in buildings, in cracks, crevices, wall cavities, behind skirting or under paths. The ant sometimes attacks living animals and people, inflicting painful bites.
It is a pest species in urban areas, known for causing costly damage to structures, vehicles, and electronic devices with its chewing activity. Singapore Ants eat a variety of food materials, including protein and sugar-type materials.
Latin name: Camponotusconsobrinus
Sugar ants are also known as banded sugar ants and range from 2 to 15 mm in size. Winged male sugar ants with royal blood are completely black, while female workers have orange-colored bodies.
Sugar Ants prefer to live and forage for food in suburban areas. Sugar ant colonies can be found in soil, between rocks, in holes in wood and around the twigs of trees or shrubs. When sugar ants build their nests in soil, they can be recognized by large dirt hills surrounding the colonies’ entrances. They can be found foraging under house lights and in streets during warm summer months and prefer warm and humid climates.
This species feeds on nectar, secretions of various plants, sugary foods, insects, small animals and plant-eating invertebrates such as the caterpillar. Sugar ants prefer honeydew from aphids and protect aphids from other predators to ensure the safety of their food source.
They are unable to sting, but they do possess strong mandibles which can bite. In self-defense these ants are also able to spray acid from their abdomens to deter predators
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