Argentine ants are tiny creatures that have earned a big reputation for causing trouble. They not only can spread rapidly and cause frustration to homeowners, but they are also among the top 100 worst invasive species because they disrupt ecosystems and displace native plants and animals. Learning how to identify and control Argentine ants now can save you time and energy in the future.
Argentine ants are small ants that grow to about 3 mm in length. They have a shiny appearance that ranges from light to dark brown in color. Like other ants, Argentine ants have 6 legs, a well-defined waist, and segmented antennae.
As the name suggests, this species of ant is native to Northern Argentina and parts of Uruguay, Paraguay, and southern Brazil. It has spread far from its native range and can now be found on 6 continents. One of the main reasons for the success of the Argentine ant is the fact that although they are aggressive toward other species of ants, they will seldom attack or compete against different groups of Argentine ants. This is because the genetic make-up of the species remains quite similar throughout the various groups. This allows them to form supercolonies with other Argentine ants that they may come in contact with.
Argentine ants typically live in shallow nests under leaf litter, stones, or timber. However, they will not hesitate to enter human structures in search of food or water. This most often occurs in times of extreme weather like heat, drought, or flooding. Colonies can range from a few dozen ants to many thousands of ants. These colonies can expand rapidly and will bud off to create satellite colonies, making control of Argentine ants somewhat difficult.
Argentine Ant Control
Since Argentine ants live in colonies with multiple reproductive queens, eliminating just one queen or one nest does very little to control the population. The nest will just bud off and another queen will take over the egg laying for that sub-colony. This is why it is usually not practical to use contact sprays or dump boiling water on the nest.
A better form of treatment is the use of ant baits. These slow-acting poisons exploit the ants feeding behavior to kill colonies from the inside out. Worker ants will gather the food and bait and take it back to the nest. They will regurgitate the food (a process called trophallaxis), and feed it to the other ants, including the queens. In this way, the poisoned bait will be spread throughout the colony and sub-colonies. Baits do not work immediately, but they will usually get the job done in about a week, depending on how large the colony is.
If you are in need of Sunshine Coast ant control, call the professionals at Radar Pest Control. Our expert technicians can identify the species of ant that is causing trouble and will know the best methods for getting rid of them. Whether you are in Buderim, Nambour, or the surrounding area, Radar Pest Control can get the job done right for you. Contact us today for more information.