Ants are often regarded as a ‘nuisance’ pest. Small mounds of dirt, resulting from their digging are considered unsightly along garden paths, on balconies, around skirting boards and window frames. Their burrowing can often cause concrete paths to crack.

Ants can present a health risk to homes and businesses. They often carry disease organisms causing dysentery and a variety of pathogenic bacteria, including Salmonella.

Common Species

Black House Ant (Ochetellus)

Pest Control Black Ant

  • Shiny and black.
  • 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’, and they are attracted to sweets.
  • The light yellowish brown ‘Coastal Brown Ant’ prefers to feed on meat products and grease.
  • The most effective control measure is to find the colony and treat it.

Argentine Ant (Linepithema humile)

  • Workers about 1.6mm long.
  • Light to dark brown in colour.
  • Do not swarm.
  • Bite – do not sting.

  • Worker ants will follow food trails for long distances so nests are not easy to track.
  • They prefer sweet foods but will also eat live and dead insects, meats, cereals and damaged fruit.
  • Argentine ants drive out other ant species from an area.

Bulldog Ants (Mymecia)

  • About 18 – 20mm long.
  • Tends to be red or black.

  • Very aggressive (if a nest is disturbed, there will be a massive outpouring attack).
  • Bulldog Ants typically nests outdoor in soil and under logs and rocks.
  • Located mostly in bushy areas (they seldom enter buildings).
  • They can inflict a very painful sting to humans.
  • The stinger does not remain in the victim, so the Bull Ant can sting repeatedly.
  • They feed on other insects and things such as honeydew from scale insects or plant nectar.
  • Each ant belongs to a specific caste and has a specific job to do (there are worker ants, soldier ants, the Queen and the Male – who mates with the Queen).

Garden Ant (Lasius niger)

Pest Control Garden Ant
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  • 1 small segment at waist point (pedicel).
  • No sting present.
  • Queen is 15mm long

 

 

  • Foraging worker ants follow well–defined trails around food sources. Sweet foods are preferred but high protein foods will also be taken.
  • Swarming characteristics – mating between queens and fertile males takes place on the wing mid to late summer. Males perish after mating.
  • Nest locations – often outdoors in soil and below paving slabs on the sunny side of buildings.
  • Nest locations can be identified by the presence of finely powdered soil around nest exit holes.

Sugar Ant (Camponotus app)

  • This species vary greatly in shape, size and colour.
  • Range from 2.5 to 15 mm, and are some of the most often seen ants due to their size and often bright in colouring.

  • Often nests in a variety of sites ranging from holes in wood to the roots of plants, twigs of trees and shrubs, between rocks or in the soil.
  • They can also be seen during the day however, they are most active at night.
  • 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.
  • They feed on dead and lives insects, household waste and are attracted by sweet food.
  • They rarely enter houses.

 Ant Control

Effective control of ants often relies on a knowledge of their foraging and nesting habits. Many homeowners attempt to use a ‘do it yourself’ ant control remedy with the results often doing very little or nothing at all.

Small problems such as the odd one or two ants in the Kitchen can develop into larger ones.

Treatments must be targeted to your specific ant species in order to solve the problem, whilst ensuring the safety of your family and pets. A thorough knowledge of ants behaviour and biology is essential.

Ant Control


Pest Control Ant prevention
Ant Prevention

Once the ant infestation has been treated, preventative methods can be implemented to stop them from coming back.

One particularly important prevention method is maintaining a high level of cleanliness and hygiene.

All areas indoors should be free of food crumbs and liquid spills. Common surfaces that are often covered with crumbs and other liquids, include kitchen benches, shelves and drawers, floors, tables, chairs and so on. Food utensils, should be washed up soon after use and not left in the sink for long periods.

Outdoor areas should be free of food sources such as bird seed, dog food, left-over party food.