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Spring is here – And so are the ants!

15 Sep 2016

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Planning a picnic, BBQ or entertaining friends now that the sun has come out in Perth? Now that the warmer weather has set in, it’s inevitable that you’ll be seeing familiar trails of ants snacking on your crumbs or making a dash for the sweet drink spillages. Although ants do have an important role in our ecosystem in getting rid of other insect bodies and also becoming food to larger insects, they certainly don’t belong within the ‘ecosystem’ of your home or office. Here is some information about Australian ants and tips to ensure you’re protected this spring.

It’s a bug’s life

Ants are social creatures, forming colonies in our backyards, outside of businesses, and infiltrating to find the location of any sustenance. They do help with the natural environment by recycling soil nutrients and feeding on dead insects. However, in a domestic or commercial setting they can be very detrimental not only to your pantry or stock, but also to your reputation.

Ant colonies include a queen which lays eggs, workers to find food and maintain the ants nest, and soldiers which protect the colony. Ants will use a secretion to mark the pathways towards food. If you leave food out and you see ants carrying it away, it will be used to feed their larvae, the ants themselves will eat liquids only and feed off the regurgitation of other ants. Gross, we know!

What’s the damage?

Although small, ants can and do cause damage and injuries. Some ants will bite or sting you, resulting in painful marks and sometimes allergic reactions. Watch out for the Singapore Ant (slow, light brown ants) and Greenhead Ants (outdoor living, black-green coloured ants) for their painful bites in particular.

When it comes to physical damage, ants sometimes form nests in existing damaged timber (not new timber as termites do). The formation and weight of a nest can cause further damage to this type of structure.

The biggest damage by ants usually occurs to the food within the space they infiltrate. Once they get into something, that’s it! They will either eat it or break it apart for delivery to the nest.

Ants-be-gone tips

Once you see one ant, it’s safe to assume there are more where he came from. The colony will usually send out a scout to check out the food situation first, and then follow up with a trail of more ants to take it away. If you find yourself with an ant problem here are a few easy tips:

  1. Find how they are getting in, and seal the gap quickly. You can use Vaseline as a quick and temporary fix. Check window sills, in between bricks, doors, or foundations
  2. Find what has attracted them. This might be some unsealed food or a spilt drink, so make sure to seal it or throw it away, then clean the area to remove the ant secretion pathway
  3. Once the entry point is sealed and the attraction is gone, it’s time to treat the area or strategically place baits around to get rid of the colony and prevent them coming back

Effective ant pest control

If you have an ant problem, find they keep coming back, need a professional to step in, or would rather be safe than sorry with preventive measures, then Bug Busters are the right people to call.

At Bug Busters we’ll protect your Perth home or business against ant problems. We use safe and effective treatments and can also perform inspections for ants and other pests. Contact Bug Busters today on 9493 1313 or fill in in our online enquiry form to book a professional pest control visit today.