Recently we attended a customer’s home in Kiama for an ant problem. Prior to starting any kind of pest treatment we always conduct an inspection to ensure that we fully understand the extent of any problem. This allows us to provide the most effective treatment making sure that we get to everywhere in the home where the pests may be hiding.
On this particular inspection we discovered ants nesting in several locations. Much to the home owner’s surprise, when we opened a cupboard in the laundry that the customer had not opened in a long time we found this nest. If the laundry cupboard had not been opened this nest would have gone untreated and call backs would be required.
The ant species located is known as the White Footed House Ant. It is a small black ant up to 3.0mm in length. It commonly nests indoors and outdoors. Internally nests can be found inside wall cavities, behind skirtings and architraves, under and behind kitchen cupboards and many other places. They can also be a pest of electrical switches / power points. Externally they can be found nesting in rockeries, gardens and paths. They are generally omnivorous, but prefer to feed on sweets.
These ants live in quite large colonies so the need to enter a house is high as they need to provide a lot of food to feed the entire colony. Due to the fact that they live in large colonies can make them hard to control. Control of this pest is best left to a professional pest manager.
How to get rid of ants
In order to effectively control an ant problem the first step is a thorough inspection. This inspection should attempt to locate all nesting sites as well as feeding sites. If incorrect assumptions are made about the location of nesting sites, this will cause changes in the ant colonies behaviour causing them to move to or travel along different areas. Once nesting sites are located then the appropriate products can be applied to control the nests. This can be by direct application or placing strategic residual barriers with liquids or applying crack and crevice treatments with dusts over or through which the ants are travelling to their food sources.
Baiting can be a very effective control measure, especially when all the nesting sites are located indoors, if chemical use needs to be restricted or the ants are nesting within an area that is not possible to apply chemical to. Baits must be carefully selected based on the species of ant needing to be controlled as different ant species have different feeding preferences.
Aside from chemicals, there are some non-chemical methods of prevention and control that the occupant of a home can manage. Ants are always foraging for food sources, and generally will nest and thrive where conditions and food availability are favourable. As with all pests, certain elements within your home will make it more or less attractive for pest.
Here are a few tips that can either help you control a problem or assist greatly in preventing an ant infestation.
- Improve and maintain hygiene and sanitation in and around the home will reduce the likelihood of infestation from foraging ants.
- Reduce moisture sources around the home.
- Try to ensure that food particles are cleaned regularly. Crumbs can be easily missed in the cleaning process on bench tops, drawers, tables, chairs, couches and floors.
- Internal garbage bins should have tight fitting lids installed and emptied regularly.
- Wash food utensils after use and avoid leaving them unwashed on sink or bench.
- Empty soft drink cans, food containers and the like can be rinsed with water before disposal removing the highly attractive sweet food sources.
- Keep trees and bushes trimmed back from the external wall of your home.
When should I prepare to stop ants?
Summer is an ideal time to have a protective barrier installed to your home to keep ants out. This time of year ants are truly on the move. The hot weather means more breeding and in turn the need for food and water increases. Amalgamated Pest Control’s 12 month Service Warranty for Household Ants will ensure that your home is protected.
If you are concerned about summer pests at your property, please contact Amalgamated Pest Control Shoalhaven for further advice.