Long Lasting Ant Pest Control – Newcastle and Hunter Valley
Ants can certainly be annoying – invading the house and digging up dirt. Biting ants in the lawn can be painful and a concern for children and pets!
But to eliminate an ant problem can be difficult. Supermarket products simply aren’t good enough – the ants keep coming back!
For a lasting solution to your ant problem call the experts at Rebel Pest Professionals.
How we get rid of ants
As with all our pest treatments we start with a thorough inspection to fully understand the nature of the problem. Identification of the ant species causing the problem and potential nesting areas are vital for us to determine the best ant treatment.
Our Professional Ant Treatments
The objective of any ant treatment is to completely eliminate the nest – this provides lasting control. If we can find the nest, we will treat the nest directly by injecting it with insecticide or applying insecticide dust. However, in many cases it is not possible to locate or access the nest, in such cases we carry out different treatments.
Ant baits are the smart way to eliminate ant nests. Ant baits consist of an attractive food and slow acting insecticide. Foraging ants take the bait back to the nest and feed it to their nest mates, including the queen – without killing the queen the colony will survive and the problem will return. The baits are slow acting so they can get passed around the colony before it starts to have any impact. By the time the ants realise there is a problem it’s too late! Most nests take 1-3 days to be controlled but for large nests it may take over a week. We use a range of ant baits, choosing the best ant bait for the species present and your particular situation.
Ant spray treatments
Sometimes we will carry out a spray treatment around the perimeter of the building and entry points. Such treatments generally do not eliminate the nest, but are designed to prevent the ants getting into the building.
Treatments for lawn ants
Our treatments for lawn ants will vary depending on the species present. Sometimes we spread a granular bait over the lawn, sometimes we will carry out a spray treatment (particularly for funnel ants).
We will always discuss any safety concerns you may have before carrying out a treatment. If we are carrying out a spray treatment, it will be necessary to keep children and pets out of the area until the treatment is dry. We can also use lockable bait station to enclose the ant bait to prevent unwanted contacted – these can also be moved around the house to areas of other ant activity.
What to expect from our ant treatments?
If we can treat the nest directly, you should have instant relief from your ant problem. More often if we are using baits, it will normally take 1-3 to get control, but can take 1-2 weeks for large nests. Sometimes for large infestations a second visit may be required.
There are some ants species, such as the coastal brown ant (or big-headed ant), that infest large areas, with multiple nests. With such ant species, it is never possible to get complete control as the ants re-invade from surround areas. Our treatment will provide relief for several months, but regular re-treatments will be necessary to keep the problem under control.
What are the signs of an ant problem?
Obviously if you have ants entering the house or you can see large numbers in the yard, you know you have an ant problem, but there are other signs that you may have an ant infestation developing.
Piles of dirt in paved areas and lawns
Ant nests tend to be well hidden, but outside their activity can be spotted by the dirt they dig up to make their underground nests. Piles of dirt between pavers and in the lawn are a sure sign of activity. These excavation activities are not only unsightly but they can cause significant damage in undermining pavers and causing subsidence in lawns.
When ants build their nest in wall cavities or roof voids, they need to through their rubbish somewhere. Often you will see piles of dirt and dead ants underneath holes in the wall or below downlights.
During the warmer months, flying ants emerge from mature ant nests. These are the new kings and queens flying off to mate and start new nests. If you find lots of flying ants around your house you will have a large ant nearby. These flying ants can often be confused with flying termites and nearby termite nest is a serious concern. So if you spot some flying insects and not sure what they are, give Rebel Pest Professionals a call.
How To Prevent an Ant Infestation
There’s not much you can do to prevent ants nesting inside the house, in between pavers or in the lawn, other than carrying out a pest treatment.
However, there are a number of actions you can take to reduce the chances of ants coming into the house. Typically they come into the house looking for food or moisture.
- Remove food sources
- Clear up spilled food
- Don’t leave pet food bowls out (especially with food in)
- Don’t leave unwashed dishes on the side after meals
- Make sure food is stored in tight fitting, “ant proof” containers
- Rubbish should be put in sealed bas before placing in the bin
- Remove sources of moisture
- Clear up spills and dirty dishes
- Fix any leaking taps or pipework
Filling any cracks around windows and doors where you see ants entering will also help (although often they will find another way in!)
Types of Ants
The different species of pest ant vary depending where you live in Australia. The climate in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley, with its warm summers, mild winters and reasonable rainfall, is an ideal breeding ground for ants.
Rebel Pest Professionals are experts in ant control, and it’s important to correctly identify the species present, as this determine which products and treatment methods we use.
These are the most common ant species which you are most likely to encounter:
Black house ant
There is actually an ant species called the black house ant (Ochetellus glaber), but there are a number of black ants which either enter the home or build their nests in the home, including the white-footed house ant (Technomyrmex albipes).
Ants found indoors and outdoors:
The Argentine ant is a dark brown, small ant that lives in the leaf-litter. Their nests can grow to very large numbers which is when they start invading homes. As they generally like cooler climates, Newcastle is right on the limit of their range so they are not a big a problem as they are down south.
Coastal brown ant or Big-headed ant
These are the same ant – Megacephala pheidole. They get their name as they tend to live in areas near the coast and have two different sizes of worker ant – a very small (minor) worker and a larger (major) worker which has a big head.
The coastal brown ant typically nests outdoors in lawns and under pavers, where it digs up piles of dirt. However, the do come insider looking for food… and they love petfood!
Sugar ant or Carpenter ant
These names are used to describe a number of species, along belonging to the Camponotus genus. They are a large ant, sometimes black, sometimes brown, sometimes dual coloured. They typically live under rocks or decaying wood (aka carpenter ant) and love sugary foods (aka sugar ant)
Black garden ant
There actually isn’t a species called the black garden ant in Australia. However, there are a number of black ants that live in the garden. Perhaps the most common black ant would be the black tyrant ants which are fast moving and give a mild bite.
Green head ant
Although they are sometimes called green ants, this is incorrect – the green ant is a tree living species from the tropical north. The green head ant lives in lawns and under rocks and has a very painful sting which can result in anaphylatic shock and can itch for days afterwards. Rebel Pest Professionals have very successful treatments for eliminating green head ants from lawns.
Bull ants are a large aggressive ant which has a very painful sting and bite. Fortunately they live outdoors and you are only like to get bitten if you stand on or near a nest.
Fire ants are not present in NSW… at the moment. Fire ants are an invasive pest, which have very painful stings and will take over large areas of the environment if they take hold in NSW. This is a very real danger in the future as the fire ant problem in SE Qld is spreading.
Flying ants are not a different species of ant, but are the new kings and queens which mature ant colonies produce once a year, which fly off to mate and set up new colonies. Almost all ants species will produce flying ants.
If you find flying ants coming into your house in spring and summer it means there is a large nest nearby. As flying ants look very similar to flying termites (“white” ants, which are not ants at all), if you do find flying ants in your house, please give us a call to arrange a termite inspection to make sure you only have an ant problem and not termites attacking your home.