Types of Ants
Types of Ants
Australia is home to over 1,300 different types of ants. However, only a few of these species become pests in the home, yard or garden.
To eliminate an ant problem and get lasting control, it’s important to identify the species of ant correctly. Correct ant identification will provide the following information:
- Potential size of the colony
- Whether there is likely to be more than one nest as part of the same colony
- Will there be more than one queen in the colony? It is important to kill all the queens to get lasting control
- Where is the nest likely to be located?
- What food types do the various ant species prefer? This is important when selecting the correct ant bait
By knowing this information, our expert ant technicians can design the best ant treatment to get rid of your ant problem.
Here are the most common types of ants we treat in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley:
Ants inside the home
Black house ant or common black ant
The black house is perhaps the most common pest ant inside houses. Although they generally nest outside coming inside for food and water, they are more than happy to nest inside wall voids or in roof cavities. They typically like sugary foods and build just the one nest with one queen. Although they are a nuisance, they don’t bite.
Rebel Pest Professionals generally control black house ant problems with baits.
Image credit: Nick Monaghan. Link
White footed ant
White footed ants look very similar to the black house ant, except they have paler ends (white) to their legs. Although they also like sugary foods, they are a lot more difficult to control that black house ants. They can form very large colonies, made up of multiple nests, with a large number of queens. They will nest both inside and outside buildings. These ants can be a persistent nuisance but don’t bite.
Dealing with white footed house ants normally requires a range of products. For severe infestations, a second visit may be required.
Image credit: By The photographer and www.AntWeb.org, CC BY 4.0, Link
Ants in the lawn
Green head ant
Green-head ant, sometimes incorrectly called the green ant, are a common biting ant in lawns. Each colony can consist of several nests close together and there may be several colonies on the lawn. They nest in lawns and under rocks / logs and generally only forage when it’s sunny. Their bites are quite painful and may remain itchy for several days. Eliminating green-head ants from your lawn is a must if you have children and pets.
Rebel Pest Professionals generally use baits to eliminate green-head ant nests and it may take several days for the nest to die off.
Image credit: By Steroid Maximus – Shot in suburban Newcastle, NSW, Australia with Canon 60D with macro extension tube fitted with a 50ml prime lens., CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
Funnel ants live underground and build obvious funnels of dirt on lawns from their underground excavations. A funnel ant infestation can be very unsightly, which can affect property prices and can create an even lawn, which can be a safety issue and damage lawn mowers.
Rebel Pest Professional treat the nests with a special ant spray which will eliminate the nest and provide protection from new ants moving in for many months.
Ants in pavers
Coastal brown ant or big-headed ant
The coastal brown ant can create large colonies of many nests, spreading over large areas. This makes it very difficult to provide lasting control, as even though the ants may be cleared from the property, they will often start moving in from neighbouring areas after several months. They are not known for their bite, but rather they often dig up the soil in between pavers as they build their nests. Rather than sugars, coastal brown ants prefer proteins, oils and fats.
Rebel Pest Professional use a combination of baits and sprays to kill the nests prevent the ants accessing the building.
Carpenter ant or Sugar ant
These ants get their name from their habit of nesting in rotting wood (they don’t eat it) and their preference for sugar. There are several species of sugar ant, with the black headed sugar ant being a common species. These are quite large ants, known for their habit of foraging in the early evening and night.
If the nest cannot be located, Rebel Pest Professional generally use baits to eliminate the nest (in a couple of days).
Image credit: By Benjamint444 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,Link
Bulldog ant or Bull ant
There are a number of bull ant species, also call bulldog or jack jumper ants. They are large ants (up to 40mm long) with large jaws and excellent vision. They have a very painful bite and sting. Thankfully there are not normally a problem in urban, residential areas, as they are generally found in bush areas.
If you have a bull ant nests, Rebel Pest Professional will inject the nest with insecticide for immediate kill.
Meat ants are sometime confused with bull ants due to their size and colour, but they are no way near as dangerous. They can deliver a painful, physical bite but have no sting. Again, these ants are more commonly found in dry bush areas, creating an obvious nest mound of pebbles.
Baits are generally ineffective against meat ants, so the nest needs to be treated directly.
The red important fire ant (RIFA) is frequently in the news but is not currently found in Newcastle or the Hunter Valley. It is currently found in SE Queensland, however it does have the potential to survive in the Hunter area, so it’s important to be vigilant. Fire ants are variable ins size, create nest mounds of dirt with no obvious entrance, and will pour from the nest mound when disturbed. Their sting is very painful, like a bee sting and can also cause severe allergic reactions.
Flying ants are the new kings and queens (the reproductive) that get released from mature colonies during the warmer months. If you find lots of flying ants around your house, you will have a large ant nest 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.
Learn more about the professional ant control treatment from Rebel Pest Professionals