Australia has around 4,000 species of ants. The most common species we have are the coastal brown ants, carpenter ants, green ants and bull ants. You can find ants anywhere any day of the year but this season is when you will see more of them than ever. You will usually find the male and female winged ants flying around when it’s time to mate. Ants also become more active after heavy rain.
The good news is that most ants are more of a nuisance than a danger. Their bite or sting is not fatal but one of the greatest health risks they can pose is that some of them are scavengers and will likely have been in garbage bins and pet poop, therefore potentially carrying diseases into your home. The other health risk associated with ants is that some people may be sensitive and allergic to their bite.
Ants can be a pest when they build their nest outside your home and they become an even greater bother when they settle inside your house. They’ll invade your kitchen and pantry foraging for food. Unfortunately, their taste in food is the same as ours. They look for meats and anything sweet or fatty. Some ants are aggressive and will attack or bite ferociously, inflicting very painful stings. The biting ants which you need to watch out for are the argentine ants, bull ants, fire ants and green ants. The least aggressive are the white-footed house ants; they do not bite.
Life Cycle of Ants
Identifying an Ant Infestation
How can you tell if you have an ant problem?
Here are some of the more common signs:
- Swarms of live ants anywhere in your home
- A trail of ants going to a food source
- Presence of a nest around your home. The nest will look like a mound of soil, and can be found anywhere in your home, under appliances, in the walls, window frames or floors.
DIY Ant Control and Prevention
Our initial reaction to exterminate ants is to use bug spray. While this will kill the ants that we see, the colony with thousands of other ants is still hiding in your home somewhere. You might also be confident that you’ve gotten rid of the ants if they came from outside and you’ve sprayed the line of ants. However, once the spray evaporates, the ants can still return via the invisible scent trail left by their worker ants.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to rid your home of ants and keep them from coming back:
- Clean your surfaces of any food and dirty dishes. Sweep and vacuum your floors to remove food particles. Don’t let spills stay too long, clean up the spill with soap and water.
- Regularly take out the trash, and keep rubbish bins closed properly.
- Remove or block any potential sources of moisture in your home.
- Store food in the fridge or in tightly closed containers.
- Keep the ants from entering your home by sealing cracks and holes.
- To remove scent trails: After destroying the ants, wash the area with soap and water.
- Natural ant deterrent suggestions. Try placing any of the following at the ants’ entry areas: cucumber slices, mint leaves, cayenne pepper, sliced garlic, a slice of lemon, cinnamon or coffee.
- Insecticide baits are more effective than sprays. These baits will be carried into the nest by the ants and can then infect and destroy the colony. Bug sprays will only kill the ants you see while a larger number of ants in the nest are still free to settle in your home.
- To permanently get rid of the ants, the nest needs to be located and treated. Simply pouring insecticide down the nest will not work as this may not reach the entire nest. If you decide to get professional exterminators, AIM Property Solutions has one of the most effective but non-toxic treatment for pests. We offer pest control treatment packages for ants, including packages with a 12 month You can trust us with your home as we have successfully dealt with different species of ants and other pests.