- Signs of an Ant Outbreak
- Problems caused by an ant infestation
- Ant species
- Ant problems in businesses and health care facilities
- How to prevent an ant outbreak
- Ways to treat an ant problem
- Professional ant removal
- Working with Allstate Pest Control Adelaide
When the ants go marching, it’s hardly a “hurrah” for many us who are home and business owners.
Ants have good reason to be a dreaded pest in Adelaide, and it’s not just their painful bites. Like other creepy crawlies, they forage in unsanitary areas and encounter all sorts of nasty germs. They then introduce them to clean food and places, leading to contamination and illness. Ants also damage buildings and electrical wiring.
If you’re experiencing an ant problem, this guide has tips on identifying the signs of an outbreak, which species of ant is responsible and how to prevent and remove them.
Signs of an ant outbreak
Frequent ant sightings
- They tend to move around in large groups along defined trails, travelling between food sources and their nest; this makes them quite easy to spot
Disturbed soil or dirt
- Small mounds of soil or dirt with a central opening indicate an entrance to ant nest, or that a nest is nearby
- Fire ants have nest mounds which can be up to 40cm high
Wood shavings (frass)
- When carpenter ants carve space for their colony within wood, they leave behind discarded wood shavings, debris and other dead insects
- Termites are not ants, but they are called white ants, and there is a reason for that. White ants have several characteristics in common with ants: they are not winged, live together in colonies and go on raids together. But termites are not ants at all; they have evolved separately.
Problems caused by ants
They contaminate food
Although ants themselves aren’t known to carry diseases, they come across many germs, including viruses, parasites, fungi and bacteria, as they forage through rubbish, toilets and dog droppings. So, if they come into contact with your food, it’s best not to risk eating it.
Ants spread disease
Ants scavenge in rotting waste contaminated with germs, such as salmonella, streptococcus, staphylococcus and e.coli. They are then able to spread this bacteria by roaming around to other places. This can lead to illnesses such as diarrhoea and food poisoning.
Ant bites sting and cause allergies
The sharp sting of an ant bite is due to the secretion of formic acid. In some people, this chemical can trigger an allergic reaction, forming red bumps or an uncomfortable rash on the skin at best, and anaphylaxis at worst. Fire ant stings have been known to cause significant swelling.
They attract more ants
Ants communicate to each other through pheromones, so they leave trails of chemical markers for other ants to follow. That’s how a small cluster of ants can quickly turn into an army.
They damage buildings
Carpenter ants make nests inside wooden structures by tunnelling into beams, wall cavities, window and floor panels and floorboards.
They can also introduce moisture and soil from outside to inside your walls, resulting in corrosion over time.
Ants can damage electrical wiring
Ants crawl into electric sockets and chew through wiring, causing it to short circuit and potentially spark a fire.
They damage electrical wiring in vehicles
Ants are attracted to dead insects in your radiator grill, scraps and drink packaging, or spills inside your car. They won’t just stop there. Ants will also chew the electric wiring and relay components, which leads to costly repairs.
Fire ants ruin vegetable crops
Fire ants are known to feed on vegetables like red potatoes and okra, as well as corn, watermelon and cucumber seedlings.
If you’re experiencing any of these ant problems, reach out to our ant extermination team any time for advice.
Get help from an ant control expert today
Black House Ant
- Shiny and black, workers are 2.5mm to 3mm long
- Scavenges in kitchens, garbage and dog droppings
- Coppery-brown head and body, darker abdomen, 2mm to 6mm long
- Forages on dead animals, vertebrates, insects, earthworms, as well as vegetables, sweets, protein and fat
- Collects insect honeydew
- Pale and translucent legs and abdomen, 16mm long
- Feeds on sweets, grease, insects producing honeydew
- Nest underneath objects lying on the ground, loose tree bark, in small spaces, roof cavities, flowerpots
- Attracted to high moisture areas such as kitchen and bathroom cabinets
- One colony can occupy multiple nesting sites
Odorous House Ant
- Brown or black, 1.5mm to 3mm long
- Gives off a coconut smell when crushed
- Feeds on most household leftovers, especially sweets and melon, and pet food
- Drawn to high moisture areas such as the kitchen, laundry and bathroom
- Workers are yellow-brown with a brown abdomen, 1.5mm to 2mm long
- Some have wings
- Enjoys high protein edibles including meat, fats, dead insects and blood
- Prefers humid conditions
- Found in hard to reach spaces in heated buildings, including hospitals
- Leaves well-defined trails connected with heating systems
Black House Ant
Odorous House Ant
Ant problems in Adelaide businesses and health care facilities
Ants cause problems in even the cleanest of Adelaide businesses and facilities. Why? Ants are usually busy looking for supplies, water and shelter, so you’ll just as likely find them wandering around your sanitary areas as you are to find them in waste areas. This means that ants are spreading all the disease-causing germs they have collected into your clean environment. Once ants contaminate your meals and stock, they put your customers and employees at risk of falling sick, and risk ruining your business reputation.
You can also end up with a costly repair bill if ants damage your buildings, equipment and appliances. Their painfully sharp stings don’t just trigger allergies – they become a dangerous distraction in the workplace, especially for those operating heavy machinery.
To make matters worse, any breach of Occupational health and safety standards can lead to heavy penalties and a costly inspection bill.
Once ants have contaminated stock, food and supplies, these things can no longer be used. This quickly gets costly if it happens too often. The sight of ant trails along food preparation surfaces, utensils, cutlery, tables, chairs and even the bathrooms is a sign of low hygiene standards, which will deter diners from returning.
Read more about ants in restaurants .
Distribution facilities and warehouses
A colony of ants will happily feed on large quantities of stock and goods, unless they are stored appropriately. They can damage wiring in expensive equipment and machinery, so measures must be taken to deter them from entering the building in the first place.
Read more about ants in distribution facilities .
Hospitals and medical centres
Ant prevention should be an important part of your hygiene and sanitation plan.
Preventing fire ant outbreaks should be a particular focus where there are people with fragile health and immune systems.
Read more about ants in distribution facilities.
How to prevent an ant outbreak
- Fill entry points, cracks and crevices using silicone and acrylic
- Store food properly; uncovered food attracts ants
- Store food out of sight and reduce access, including pet food
- Wipe away spills and wipe down surfaces; if you see an ant trail on a surface, wipe it with bleach or vinegar
- Tightly seal containers and food packaging
- Thoroughly rinse and put away cutlery, utensils and tableware
- Fix leaking pipes, as moisture attracts ants
- Waste management: ensure the rubbish bin is properly covered and seal all bin bags tightly
- Maintain your garden: clear away tree branches that are touching your home and piles of vegetation; remove all fallen and rotten fruit and vegetables
- Vacuum floors regularly: check underneath and behind furniture
Get help from an ant control expert today
Ant control adelaide
Ways to treat an ant problem
Pour boiling water into the nest
Be aware that the boiling water may not be able to penetrate deep enough into the ground to reach the entire nest, particularly where the queen is situated.
Baits contain insecticide chemicals, which are ingested by ants and then spread to the rest of the colony when they return to the nest.
- Homemade baits can be made using borax and sugar or syrup, and are often just as effective as commercial baits.
- Granular or sand commercial baits should be scattered these around the perimeter of your home, in entrances, between pavers, on lawns and around the edge of your garden. Apply with care as they are often toxic to pets and children.
- Gel commercial baits should be applied to cracks and crevices.
This targets other insects in addition to ants.
Water as a repellant
To deter ants you can place your pet’s food bowl in a shallow dish partially filled with water.
Strong smelling deterrents
These mixtures can be applied in a spray or left in a bowl near the ant nest:
- Strong smelling herbs and spices: mint, cinnamon, garlic, and black pepper combined with vinegar
- Essentials oils: peppermint, patchouli or cedarwood with water and vodka
Chalk and powdery substances
Sprinkle a line of chalk, baking powder or baby powder near entrances or along the perimeter of your home.
Professional ant extermination in Adelaide
If you have a major ant problem needing professional treatment, make sure you use an experienced ant control technician.
We recommend finding someone who gets to the source of your problem, so that you’re protected in the longer term.
The team at Allstate are fully equipped to target all the indoor and outdoor spots where ants feed, and to remove their nesting site. We’re available for both emergency call outs, and free assessment and quotes.
This is the Allstate Adelaide professional ant removal process:
An expert ant control technician will inspect your building, examine the extent of your outbreak, look for nesting and feeding sites, and then come up with a treatment plan.
We normally use a combination of the following solutions to ensure success. Patience is key here – it will take time for these to have an effect, especially if the nesting site is inside a wall cavity.
- Ant control dust is sprinkled into cavity walls and voids in the building, including the roof space
- Insecticide forms part of treated zones which are applied to the perimeters of the building
- Chemical baits are strategically positioned near favoured feeding sites
Follow up treatment
The team will replenish your ant removal treatment at a follow up visit, as its effectiveness dwindles over time. This will ensure you stay ant-free for longer.
Why choose Allstate?
At Allstate Pest Control Adelaide, we understand that an outbreak of ants can be overwhelming. It can also be difficult to find the time to look for nesting sites and come up with a solution to control them. This is where our expert ant control technicians can help.
As Adelaide’s leading independent pest control company, we are available to help you 24/7 in any suburb of Adelaide. We can attend for urgent or emergency problems, or even just provide advice to control ants and support through our website. Contact Us today.
Our ant treatments are environmentally friendly, and safe for children and pets, while minimising disruption to you and your business.
At the same time our control services are highly effective against even severe infestations, as proven by our 100% money back guarantee.
We also provide affordable, interest-free payment plans, making your ant treatment both convenient and accessible. Speak to an experienced Adelaide ant exterminator today.
Get help from an ant control expert today