pests

Ants

Ants

What is it?

Ants form colonies that range in size from a few dozen predatory individuals living in small natural cavities to highly organised colonies which may occupy large territories and consist of millions of individuals. These larger colonies consist mostly of sterile wingless females forming castes of "workers", "soldiers", or other specialised groups. Nearly all ant colonies also have some fertile males called "drones" and one or more fertile females called "queens". The colonies are sometimes described as super organisms because the ants appear to operate as a unified entity, collectively working together to support the colony. Different species of ants are attracted to different types of food, some of which include sugars, meats, fats and oils. They tend to also come indoors at times in search of water during dry seasons (September – March). When desirable items are found many species will recruit fellow nest mates to help gather the food and return it to the nest. This can result in large numbers of ants appearing over a short period of time.

Why is it considered a pest?

Around the house, you can find ants building nests in walls and foundations, in potted plants (indoors and outdoors), in enclosed areas, and even in cavities in toilets and sinks. In almost all cases the nests are built in previously deteriorated areas or in between objects such as rotten wood. They rarely attack solid structures as they tend to take advantage of weakened areas.

Where can it be found in Australia?

Ants can be found across Australia; however, it depends on the species of ant and the habitat in which they preside in. For more detailed information on ants and thier distribution, check the CSIRO website for accurate scientific information. 

Where it’s usually found in the home?

This depends on the type of species of ant. They can be usually found near a standing water source or in moistened areas. Click on an ant species to see specific habitats around the home.

Typical signs of infestation?

The typical signs of ant infestation include:

  • Frequent sightings of ants inside the house and at home entrances.
  • A build up of ant activity in the gardens such as dirt mounds etc
  • In some cases, damage to structure of home (timber areas, cracks in brick walls)

Common types of ants around the home.

  • Argentine Ant
  • Odorous House Ant
  • Coastal Brown Ant
  • Carpenter Ant
  • Australian Bull Ant
  • Black House Ant
  • Red Imported Fire Ant