Ants are the cause of many frustrations and problems. They are perfectly suited to living around houses and gardens, and are largely nomadic, so nests will migrate from place to place as conditions change. Ants are hard to kill because they have a hard exoskeleton that protects them from surface sprays and they protect themselves by constructing their nests in hard to reach places, such as voids or under concrete slabs.
Ants resist chemical treatments applied around our homes because very little of an ant’s body comes in contact with surfaces. Most chemicals break down quickly when exposed to the elements of sun and rain, so ants can very soon withstand the residual and move freely across a treated zone. For a chemical to provide long-term control of ants, especially on hard surfaces, it has to be highly stable and have a long residual, so then it becomes of question of what presents the greatest hazard the ants or the chemical.
There is no magic solution to ant problems, they will come and go at their whim. To be successful, treatment must be integrated, ongoing and persistent. It is best to use a variety of control methods and be prepared to alter the strategy in response to changing ant behaviour or new infestations as time goes on. For this reason at East Coast Pest Services we will attend your property, assess your ant problem and provide alternative management strategies for your consideration.
Different species of ants have different diets. Some prefer protein, some prefer starches and some prefer sugars, while many are omnivorous, eating whatever they need or can find at the time. Ants will make use of anything that is available for food, as a nesting site, or for protection. They will even use other animals to provide food in symbiotic relationships and it has been said that they even predict the weather, becoming active or moving to higher ground when rain approaches.
Because of their highly organized social structure they are one of the worlds most successful organisms. They collect food and store it, they move their entire nest when they need to, and they can form new nests by a variety of means. Ants are perfectly suited to exploit human activity; we even provide protection from many of their natural predators. Ants can infest just about every part of a building or garden, they can walk in, they can fly in. Ants exist in staggeringly large populations with every few hundred square metres containing more ants than the total population of humans in the whole country. With over 3000 species of ants in Australia, each filling one special niche in the environment, no area is free of their activity. Go anywhere and look and you are more than likely to see ants, there are simply more ants than you can count.
Ants are not just a nuisance; they can cause diseases such as salmonella by carrying it on their bodies and depositing it on food; they can cause electrical problems or even house fires; they can cause problems with communication and transport systems; and they also sting-bite and just plainly irritate us. They are one of the most persistent of pests and drive us mad with their unsightly nests and the rubbish they constantly toss out of them in our homes in the form of frass. Even when the ants nest has moved on or been completely eradicated, the frass may still fall from inaccessible skillion roof structures, cracks and crevasses. New nests will also come along and take over sites abandoned by other ants.