Ant Control and Ant Facts
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Ants in House and the Ant Colony
Ants in house can be controlled by surface sprays, which are an effective ant killer for the ants that you see. However, ants in the house are merely foragers collecting food and therefore killing ants with surface spray is NOT an effective way to get rid of ants because the Ant Colony is often hidden deep underground and can contain over a million ants!
Get rid of ants in the house is by calling for professional Ant Control.
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How to Kill Ants and How to Get Rid of Ants
Professional methods for getting rid of ants have improved with the introduction of Termidor for Ants. We apply Termidor to the outside exterior foundation walls of your house, to effectively eliminate an ant infestation in the house. The forager ants crawl over the Termidor then transfer the chemical back to the ant nest and destroy the ant colony.
It is impossible to permanently get rid of external ants but Termidor is highly effective in reducing the ant population in your yard. Professional Ant Control is very effective but warranties do not apply to ant infestations in the yard. Most ants that reside in our backyards will be a mere nuisance and seldom come indoors to feed.
Elimination of Green Ants (Greenhead ants, Rhytidoponera spp) and Bulldog Ants (Myrmecia spp) and their nests should dealt immediately as they are aggressive when their nests are disturbed and will inflict painful ant bites.
1300 Pest Control treatments for ant infestation are environmentally friendly, child and animal safe.
Slow acting chemicals will destroy the ant colony over the course of approximately one month.
The small size of ants means they can enter your house though the tiniest of cracks. The trick is to eliminate things that will attract ants into your home in the first place. You can never underestimate the value of good housekeeping when it comes to getting rid of pests inside our homes.
- Eliminate water sources for thirsty ants – wipe your sinks, fix leaking taps & keep the toilet lid closed.
- Eliminate ant food sources by cleaning up crumbs and food spills, washing dirty dishes straight away, vacuuming regularly and keeping rubbish in a tightly sealed bin.
- Store your food in air tight containers and wipe any spills or dribbles from condiment jars and bottles, especially sauce bottles and sweet things such as honey and syrups.
- Make sure Fido isn’t adding to the problem – wash your pet’s food bowl after meals and sweep up any crumbs or spills.
- In your garden, control sap-sucking insects such as aphids. They produce honeydew which lures ants.
Facts about Ants
What do ants look like?
Ants are generally small, ranging from 1-20 millimeters in length. But despite their tiny size, ants are one of the most abundant and successful organisms on our planet. In fact, if you took all of the ants in the world and placed them on a scale, then took all of the humans in the world and placed them on a scale, the weights would be about the same!
Ants (and their close relatives bees and wasps) have a narrow join between their thorax and abdomen, giving them a distinct “waist”. Ants have large heads, with elbowed antennae. These antennae are used for communication, picking up tiny chemical smells or pheromones from other members of their nest. Ants have compound eyes which are usually large and highly developed.
Ants have strong chewing mandibles that are used for a variety of functions – gently carrying ant eggs and ant larvae to the brood chamber, lugging massive pebbles from the tunnels of their ant nest, tearing their prey into more manageable-sized pieces, for delicately moulding mud and dirt to build their ant nests and for lopping the heads and legs off rival ants.
Ant Life Cycle
Ant colonies are generally made up of sterile female worker ants, the reproductive queen ant and at certain times of the year, winged males and females. These winged ants emerge from the parent colony in the warmer months, take to the air and mate. Unlike ant colonies that generally have a long-lived “king”, male ants usually die shortly after mating. The young queen will find a suitable nesting site, dig a small chamber and lay her first batch of eggs.
Ants have a complete lifecycle, emerging from their eggs as tiny white grubs or larvae. They rapidly grow and form a tiny pupa, before emerging as an adult. The first batch of worker ants is reared by the queen. Once they mature, they will start to forage for food, tend to the queen and build the nest.
The queen will remain in her royal chamber and continue to produce thousands of eggs. She can live for many years and some species of ants have multiple queens in each ant colony.
How do ants live? Ant Colony and Ant Habitats
Ants are found in all habitats throughout the world. There are at least 9500 species described so far, and probably many thousands of ant species that have not yet been named.
Ants build elaborate nests in soil, under logs, in clumps of grass and in decaying wood. The nest is composed of several chambers, all linked by tunnels. There are rooms for storing food, discarding rubbish, rearing young and storing eggs.
What Do Ants Eat?
In general, ants are opportunistic feeders and will basically eat whatever food is available. Many ants prey on small insects, spiders and other arthropods. These critters are often hundreds of times larger than the ants themselves, but by working as a team large prey is overpowered, killed and then cut into smaller pieces to carry back to the nest.
Many species of ants have a strong sweet-tooth and will drink nectar from flowers and gather honeydew – a sugary substance produced by sap-sucking insects such as aphids. Other ants will harvest the seeds from plants and grasses.
Adult ants only drink liquids, saving solid food such as seeds and crumbs for the developing larvae.
Are Ants Dangerous?
Ants are a common yet unwelcome visitor to our homes and gardens. Ants become pests by:
- Entering our kitchen to feed on crumbs, rubbish and sweet substances such as honey and sugar.
- As they forage, ants pick up bacteria and fungi on their feet and transfer it onto our food, speeding up the process of food spoilage.
- Ants hang around our bathrooms, toilets and kitchen sinks in search of water.
- Some ant species construct ant nests within wall cavities, ceilings and brickwork in our homes.
- Some ant species, including Black Ants, will infest wood. However, ants will only tunnel through dead or damaged wood and will not attack sound timber like ants.
- Some species infest our lawns. Funnel ants build towers of loose soil around the entrance to their ant nest, spoiling the appearance of carefully tended lawns. Green ants also love to tunnel through our grass and will deliver a painful sting if disturbed (especially if you’re unfortunate enough to run over a nest with the lawn mower)!
- Some ants will burrow around pavers, paths and garden edging, scattering dirt all over the place and making our pavers wobbly and unstable.
- Ants such as the Black House Ant produce an unpleasant odour when crushed. Other species such as green ants and bull ants will inflict a very painful sting. However, unless you suffer an allergic reaction, the effects of these stings are generally minor and short-lived. Try telling that to a 3 year old however!
- Introduced species such as Fire Ants threaten our native plants and wildlife and can inflict a dangerous sting.
Having said this, not all ants are bad and many are extremely important in our environment. Ants play a major role in dispersing seeds and their predatory behaviour helps to control populations of many pest insects. Ants also provide a valuable cleaning service – carting away the bodies of any dead insects and small animals back to their nests.
Did you know this about ants?
Ants have a variety of ways to defend themselves and their nest. Some bite using large mandibles, some sting using a pointed needle at the end of their bodies and some do both! Ants can also spray formic acid into the faces of oncoming enemies. Green tree ants will bites their victim, tip their abdomen and spray burning acid in the wound. Ouch!
Written by Michelle Gleeson from Bugs.Ed www.bugsed.com/
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