There are over 1000 species of ants known in Australia and our homes provide the perfect accommodation for some of these species. There’s no need to excavate elaborate nests. Wall and roof cavities provide stable temperatures and warmth in winter. Our bathrooms and kitchens provide a constant water source and tasty treats. Once these social insects are settled in, they can be a nuisance to remove. Luckily, our team at Laguna Pest Control are ant specialists.
Ants and termites (white ants) are often confused since they look a lot alike. However, there are some major differences. Ants have distinct segmented body parts, unlike termites which do not display that narrow waist between the thorax and abdomen. Ants also have elbowed antennae, unlike termites which are beaded. Whilst ants cannot do damage to seasoned timber, unlike termites, they can short out electrical power points. Ants have been known to cause house fires!
At Laguna Pest Control, we believe that to effectively treat ants, you must understand their behaviour, nature, and biology. Ants are highly social insects having one or many ‘Queens’, ‘Soldiers’, and ‘Workers’. They also have a four-stage lifecycle: egg > larvae > pupa > adulthood. Ants feed on three basic food types, which include sugars, proteins or fats, and oils. Most ants have their preferred food type, but this can change depending on the time of year.
What Can You Do?
For minor infestations and preventative measures, DIY products can have some success. However, a common issue that people will find is if you treat ants in one spot, they will soon show up in another spot, and so on. It can often be more affordable, quicker and less of a heartache to engage in a professional pest manager.
There are other proactive ways to prevent ants:
- Treat any plants in your garden suffering from those sap-sucking plant pests, such as scale, mealybug or sooty mould
- Trim back any vegetation in contact with your building, particularly the roof
- Keep all foods, particular sweet stuff, in sealed containers
- Clean up any spills and food residues immediately
- Dispose of uneaten pet food
Whilst these actions can help make your house less ant friendly, sometimes you can’t help an ant invasion. That’s when it’s time to give us a call!
What Can We Do?
Ants are our specialty! The bigger the problem, the better (for us that is). Often, pest controllers will treat ants like they treat spiders, but this won’t fix an ant infestation. Ants are highly social insects, unlike spiders. This means that for every ant you directly treat, there are many more to replace them. If you don’t treat or control the nest/s, the ants will build back up again.
Previously, most insecticides that were available to pest managers were repellent to social insects, such as ants. Nowadays though, we have some excellent products that are available to us, such as Termidor. This product causes a “domino effect” or a “transfer effect”, as ants will track across the treated areas, pick up tiny amounts of the active ingredient, and transfer it to other ants in the colony, eventually destroying the nest.
Pest managers also have some excellent ant bait products available to them. The key to baiting ants is correct identification and knowledge of the ant’s species, to determine which bait type is best to use. Some ants prefer sugar-based foods and others prefer oil-based foods. Ant baits are also more effective when there are several ants that you can easily see. Simply placing ant bait out and hoping ants will find it doesn’t always work.
What to Expect After the Treatment?
To be ant free of course, but not straight away! Ants have a nest, and in that nest are eggs, larva and pupae, getting ready to develop into adulthood. So, we need to allow time for either enough chemicals to get to the nest, or enough ant workers to die to no longer support the colony. You should be able to see results within a few weeks.
How long the treatment lasts depend on many factors. Most customers experience 12 months before requiring another treatment, while some never need one again. To show our confidence in our treatments Laguna Pest Control offer a 6-month free service period on all our internal/external ant treatments. Most of our clients get an annual General Pest Treatment done as a preventative measure.