No one can live in Australia without having personal contact with ants. From the most isolated outback sand dunes to the busiest suburbs, ants are everywhere.
Australian ants are hardly shy. They happily live and nest around our houses and gardens. They often get into kitchens, bathrooms and laundries in search of food.
There are over 1200 species of ants in Australia and their colonies can be huge with tens of thousands of individuals.
Some of the species that cause problems in homes:
Ants tend to remain relatively dormant in winter and in colder conditions. They become more active during the warmer months from October to March.
Ants feed on sugar, syrup, honey, fruit juice, fats, and meat. Long trails of thousands of ants may lead from nests to these food sources.
Outdoors, ants are attracted to honeydew that soft scales, mealybugs, and aphids produce.
There is not one standard method to treat all types of ant species.
To be effective, treatments have to be specific to the ant and infestation. In some species, only 5% of the colonies ants are out foraging at any one time.
Ants often move nest sites when disturbed, or with a change in food supply. This can make control and removal of ants difficult. They may leave for short periods only to return later when a new food source is located and they can very quickly re-colonise from nearby nests.
DIY products often claim to be able deal with all ant problems. Although you may see a reduction in the numbers of ants, they generally will not be effective long term with usual sized infestations.
Ant infestations only grow larger over time if not properly treated.
If you have an ant problem in your home, it will save a lot of time, expense and hassle by having it checked and treated by a professional.