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Ants

Do you have ants in you home you want controlled? We can help

About Ants

Ants As the majority of ant species prefer sunny climates, our environment is perfect for ants to thrive. Ants are ubiquitous. Out of around 15,000 ant species and subspecies worldwide, Australia has just over 1,300 known species so far. 

The most familiar ant species in Australia are:

  • Argentine ants (Linepithema sp.)

  • Bulldog or bull ants (Myrmecia sp.)

  • Carpenter ant (Camponotus spp.)

  • Coastal Brown ant (Pheidole megacephala)

  • Common Black House ant (Ochetellus sp.)

  • Funnel ant (Aphaenogaster pythia)

  • Garden ant (Lasius niger)

  • Ghost ant (Tapinoma melanocephalum)

  • Pavement ant (Tetramorium caespitum)

  • Pharaoh’s ant (Monomorium pharaonis)

  • White-Footed house ant (Technomyrmex sp.)

Ants can be found anywhere from coastal mangroves to urban backyards and inside our homes. Their success, in part, is because of their ability to communicate with each other. They have the most complex form of chemical communication in the animal kingdom and together they accomplish tasks beyond any individual insect.

 

Ants are formidable opponents and defend their foraging area from other animals. They can overwhelm by sheer weight of numbers and have offensive armoury that may include fierce jaws and potent stings.

Image by Thomas Kinto

Features of Ants

  • Ants are social insects. They exist in colonies that work together to gather food, rear young and defend the nest.

  • Nests contain eggs, larvae and pupae and different types (or castes) of ants.

  • Colony sizes range from a few individuals to tens of thousands. Each colony is made up of a queen, different-sized workers and a number of other castes at different stages of the colony cycle.

  • The most commonly seen caste are workers.

  • Winged ants leave the nest to mate and found new colonies in late summer and spring, often after rain. Many are eaten by birds and other predators.

  • Ants are probably the most common insects encountered by humans.

  • There are around 15,000 different species of ants worldwide.

  • There are 1,275 Australian ant species described, but this could double with further research.

  • Most species of Australian ants are found only in Australia.

  • Many plants and other insects have evolved relationships with ants, even to the point where ants are a necessary part of their lifecycle.

  • Some birds place ants on their bodies to remove parasites. This is known as anting.

How to reduce ants in the home

  • Track down where they are coming in and seal off the entry point

  • Clear up any sticky residues on worktops, because ants are attracted to sweet things

  • Cover up any foodstuffs which could be a food source for ants.

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Ant Colony

Funnel Ants

Funnel Ants In Australia, they often build dense, conspicuous nests. Nest entrances are generally funnel-shaped with diameters up to 4 cm, which resulted in the common name funnel ants. These nests can be a serious problem for golfers or on pastures and unsealed airstrips, because the fragile surface easily collapses under pressure. Where it occurs, Aphaenogaster bioturbation is an important soil and landscape process.

 

Aphaenogaster probably gets most of its food from tended aphids on the roots of plants, which explains that they are rarely seen on the surface. The funnel-shaped openings could play a role in trapping arthropods, which are also eaten.

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Funnel Ant

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Funnel Ant Mounds

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Funnel Ant

Fire Ants

Fire Ants

We are fully qualified by Biosecuity Queensland to safely treat and eradicate these pests

Treatment of fire ants at home

Ridding fire ants from South East Queensland requires the whole community to act — from councils and businesses, to owners and tenants.


Originally from South America, fire ants are one of the world’s most invasive pests and have infested many countries around the world, including Australia.
They are extremely aggressive and inflict a painful, fiery sting, which can — in rare cases — cause a severe acute allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis, which is potentially life threatening.


Fire ants pose a real danger to Australia and can seriously impact our agriculture and tourism industries as well as having the potential to ruin our way of life. Every day activities, such as barbecues, picnics and sporting events may no longer be possible in high infestation areas.
To prevent this from happening, the Australian Government and all state and territory governments set up the National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program.


Over the years, five separate incursions of fire ants have successfully been eradicated in Queensland, including a population spread over 8,000 hectares at the Port of Brisbane — the largest eradication of any ant species in the world.


The program is currently working on eradicating and containing the last remaining infestation in Australia, which stretches from the Lockyer Valley to Redlands in South East Queensland.

Source: https://www.qld.gov.au/environment/plants-animals/animals/pests-diseases/fire-ants 

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Identifying Fire Ant Nests

Look out for nests that look like mounds of loose sifted soil with no obvious entry or exit hole.

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Identifying Fire Ants

The distinguishing features of fire ants are their:

  • variation in size, between 2 to 6mm

  • copper brown colour with a darker abdomen.

 

When checking nests for fire ants, gently poke the nest with a long stick and observe the ants that come out.
Be careful not to get too close, as fire ants are aggressive. They will swarm when disturbed and have a painful sting.


 

Where to look for fire ants

Residential Properties

  1. Lawns: Fire ants don't like too much shade, so open grassy areas in the sun are very appealing. However nests can be difficult to spot in long grass.

  2. Footpaths: Fire ants are drawn to open, warm areas, particularly footpaths and driveways.

  3. Garden beds: As they are drawn to disturbed soil, fire ants are often found in or around garden beds, particularly if recent planting has taken place and there's not too much shade.

  4. Taps: Fire ants are often found near water sources such as taps, sprinklers and pools of water.

  5. Utility pits: Fire ants construct an underground network of tunnels from which they forage and can nest in cavities or voids in the ground. Utility pits for water, gas or telephone, for example, are sometimes occupied by fire ants.

Rural Properties

  1. Dams and irrigation lines: Fire ants like to nest near water sources, particularly around the edge of dam and irrigation lines. Look for a mound (especially in winter), or any soil disturbance that could potentially be a nest or foraging tunnel.

  2. Edges of cultivated land: Fire ants that establish in cropped areas often migrate to the headlands or edges of the crop to escape mechanical soil tillage which may disrupt their nest.

  3. Cropland post-harvest: Fire ants deliberately choose open, disturbed land to establish nests in, and are attracted to any land that has experienced recent disturbance.

  4. Fence lines: Fire ant nests are often found under fence lines or alongside fence posts where there is likely to be less disruption by tillage or mowing.

  5. Piles of organic matter: Fire ants are particularly attracted to piles of organic matter such as mulch, compost, animal manure, poultry litter, hay or fodder from which they use for food or shelter.

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