Ants, you have ants?

If you live on the New South Wales Mid North Coast, of course you do. Ants are going absolutely nuts at the moment and the recent weather events aren’t going to make them slow down any time soon.

Did you know there are different types of pest ants?

Black house ants are widely found throughout all areas, whether you are in Taree or Old Bar, Port Macquarie or Buladelah these nasty little creatures do not discriminated, setting up camp where ever they feel fit. A pest commonly confused with the normal black house ant, the white-footed black house ant, while to the untrained eye looks very similar and often is found inhabiting similar locations are a very different insect behaviourally and for the purpose of treatment. The normal black house ant will often have multiple, completely separate nests which build up over time causing nuisance in your house. This can cause a real issue as often baiting techniques used by pest professionals may gain control the current offending nest, other nests will remain to cause nuisance in the future. The best treatment results will be gained through a holistic approach incorporating nest location and eradication, combined with residual control methods for potential prevention. Where the White-footed black house ant differs behaviourally, is its invasive nature, in that it will often have multiple, often interconnected colonies which will appear to set up almost over night. When baiting techniques are employed by a pest control professional against this ant species it will often have an almost non existent impact on the experienced pest problem as often due to colony size and number a baiting approach will require multiple, ongoing services to deliver the required quantity of bait. Again, nest detection and eradication will provide the best, most immediate effects for the ant control.

Another commonly encountered ant across the entire Mid North Coast is the Carpenter ant. This ant gets its name from its readiness to set up nest in damaged timber. While the ‘frass’ (waste which is ejected from the nest) will often look like wood shavings, this ant is not known to cause damage to any timber which is sound. This pest can be very difficult to control as its foraging pattern will almost never allow a line of ants to be followed back to a nesting point. Carpenter ants a forage scavengers which will often forage singly at a distance of up to 100m from the nest making nest locating quite a difficult task. A pest control professional should conduct a thorough inspection where they will locate the nest(s) and directly eradicate the issue.

An ant which is much more isolated to specific soil conditions is the funnel ant. If you live in Port Macquarie, Moorland, Old Bar, Wallabi Point, Forster and even areas of Wingham. There is a good chance that either you or a friend of yours suffers from an infestation of this invasive pest ant. Funnel ants harbour around the root area of grass, rockeries, pot plants and almost anywhere with a suitable soil substrate. Their tunnels extend through these areas and through extended periods of dry, their presence often goes completely unnoticed, but when it rains these subterranean tunnels collapse on them selves ant the funnel ants then re-excavate the soil, leaving the funnel like mounds they are so loathed for. This often leave to the undermining of pathways and creation of uneven lawn areas and will cause your lawn mower blades to become prematurely blunt. The good news is that with the advancement in modern pesticide technology, your Local Pest Experts can apply a treatment which will have a residual life and effective control, often for a period greater than 6 months and while the product cost is much higher than older technology pest control products the labour intensity is much lower leading to reduced costs with better results.

The last ant species I will talk about is the coastal brown ant. This is another invasive ant species which will have multiple, often interconnecting colonies over a large area. These ants will be seen heavily through Forster, Tuncurry, Nabiac, Pacific Palms, Old Bar, Wallabi point, Taree, Laurieton and the Camden Haven area, Port Maquarie and even in more inland areas of Gloucester. This pest will often be seen foraging along pathways, around rockeries, skirting board edges  and kitchen benches in search of food and water. The coastal brown ant can be identified quite easily by its ‘major worker’. Being polymorphic, this ant species displays the two sized workers with the major worker having a notably larger head than the minors. This head is often thought of as a defence weapon when it in fact is designed to allow the ants to crush seeds and harder objects for consumption. This ant species is a protein feeding ant and often best results will be seen when your pest control professional undertakes a two stage treatment incorporating the used of protein baits and non repellent insecticides.

Ants are an integral part of our ecosystem and are a very long lived insect. While complete external control of these pests is often an over expectation long lived internal control is an expectation which, with the correct treatment procedures, application tools and product selection should be achievable.