Ants can be a never-ending problem on the Sunshine Coast. Our warm, wet climate creates the perfect conditions for ants to thrive. With over 15,000 species of ants in the world, sometimes it feels like you may never be able to completely get rid of them. They invade homes seeking out food and water, create unsightly mounds in your yard, destroy seeds and seedlings, and can sting and bite. Let’s take a closer look at some of the common habits of ants and how you can identify and combat them.
While each species differs slightly, ants usually live in a sophisticated social structure or caste system. Ants typically fall into three categories: workers, reproductive males, and queens. The ant colony is highly efficient, with workers making up the vast majority of the population. Ant workers are always in search of food, often traveling great distances. They leave trail-marking pheromones along the way so that other ants can follow. Ants are difficult to control because killing the workers that you see isn’t enough. The queen is an egg-laying machine and can just continue to replace worker ants, so the entire colony must be treated and destroyed.
Ant Species in Queensland
There are many ant species in Queensland, but here are a few that you should be aware of.
Black House Ant: These small ants are shiny black and only 2.5-3 mm long. The love to scavenge kitchens in search of sweet food and are found in both rural and urban environments. They will often nest in homes in wall and roof cavities, and will leave piles of debris where they nest.
Sugar Ant: Sugar ants are often bright orange in color. They tend to nest in wooded areas, or near plants and shrubs, but will find their way indoors in search of food. The workers are nocturnal, so they can be very difficult to track and locate the nest. Sugar ants can be identified by the large dirt mounds that surround the entrance to their nests. They may bite, but it is usually not very painful.
Bull Ant (Bulldog Ant): Bull ants are very aggressive ants that are red or black from 18-20 mm long. They typically nest in soil, under logs or rocks, but not usually in buildings. If you disturb a bull ant colony, you may be subjected to many painful stings.
Red Imported Fire Ant: Although this species of ant is not common in Australia, it’s existence here is a major cause for concern. Red fire ants are native to South America, but have made their way to many other parts of the world. They are one of the most invasive pests and can cause major economic and environmental damage. They were seen for the first time in Queensland in 2001, and measures were taken to try to eradicate the nests that were found. Fire ants are copper brown with a darker colored abdomen. They vary in size from 2-6 mm and are very aggressive. Their stings are very painful and can become lethal in rare circumstances. Any sighting of red fire ants should be reported to the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.
Ants are constantly in search of water and food to sustain their colonies. They love sweet foods, so kitchen pantries are a hotspot for ants. To prevent infestations, it is important to keep your home as clean as possible. Remove food crumbs by sweeping regularly and wiping off kitchen surfaces. You should also store food in tightly sealed containers or in the fridge. It is also important to reduce moisture in your home by fixing any leaks. Finally, destroy any ant nests you may find as soon as possible, and keep up to date with regular pest control treatments.
At Radar Pest Control, we are committed to delivering safe, quality solutions to your ant problems. We will come to your home or business and identify the ant species you are dealing with. We can then customize a treatment plan that will work for your situation. Our treatments are odourless, will not stain, and are safe for both people and pets. We are confident that after you experience the Radar difference, you will never use another exterminator again. Give us a call today.