When it comes to ant control, you need effective methods that work fast. Is there anything more disgusting than opening your pantry only to find your favourite foods covered in ants? These little critters are one of the most-hated household pests – and our ant eradication and ant control services are always in hot demand.
We do have some handy home tips for controlling these pesky invaders too, so read on to learn a little more about how you can control your ant problem and take back your kitchen!
Common types of ants in Northland
Knowing your enemy is the first rule of warfare: so, let’s take a look at the most common ant species in Northland.
Listed as one of the world’s most invasive species, the worker ants of this species are only 2-3mm long, with a light yellow-brown colour. They have large numbers of offspring, multiple queens in each colony, and are quick to join forces – giving them the advantage in numbers and speed. They eat a hugely diverse diet, and live in a variety of different environments. They’re hardy, they form super-colonies, and they’re very hard to get rid of! They don’t sting, but they do bite: and some people have reported an allergic reaction.
Larger in size than the Argentinian ants, these little guys range in size from 3.4-4.5 mm. Their body colour ranges from a yellowish, light-brown on the waist and head, through to the blackish brown of the tail end. They have stings, and they also bite. They’re mostly restricted to Northland and Auckland, and are nowhere near as much of a pest as their Argentinian counterparts. They live in small to moderately-sized colonies, and rarely become a household pest.
These tiny Australian ants appear to have crossed the waters as boat cargo: their established colonies are more limited to port areas. Therefore, Whangarei does have a thriving population of Darwin ants, although they are not found in the same numbers as the Argentinian ants. They are similar in size to Argentinian ants, and similar in colour: the main way to tell them apart is by crushing them. If a strong odour follows, that was a Darwin ant! Not a big pest here, however they have been known to enter homes in large numbers.
White Footed House Ants
White Footed House Ants are 3-3.4mm long, and gain their name from their obvious light-coloured feet. These little guys like to stay warm, so will often be found nesting within your wall spaces, roof spaces, under-floor cavities or even – in colder areas – within electrical switchboards. The White Footed House Ants aren’t above foraging for food within your home, and can be found in large numbers when nesting domestically.
Slightly greyish in colour, and erratic in movement, these ants are only slightly bigger than the Argentinian ant, measuring between 2-3.5mm in size. They’re usually found outside, making their nests in your rocky garden areas or beside pathways. They like to dig – so if you see little piles of dirt between your stepping stones, you can probably blame these little fellows.
Home remedies to stop ant invasions
Try these home remedies to keep your ant problem under control – if you’re happy to tackle the problem yourself, consider:
- Cutting back foliage from touching the house which ants use as a bridge for access.
- Cleaning up spilt food/sugary drink spills.
- Keeping food in sealed containers in the pantry.
- Pouring boiling water on any known ant nests outside.
- Read more tips on our Ant Page.
What is the best product for your ant problem?
There are so many ant control products to choose from, it really helps to know which product to use for your particular situation! Here’s our advice on which ant product to choose:
Exterior ant problems
X-It Ant is a spray concentrate which when mixed with water is applied to areas where ants are known to trail. It dries as a non-repellent residual so ants don’t know it’s there. Ants crawl across the treated surface and then once back in the nest, through social behaviour such as preening each other, they unknowingly share the poison throughout the colony.
Ants in the pantry
Before doing anything about the ants including disturbing them, try to see if you can find a trail to identify where they came from in the first place – for example maybe from a small gap in the top of the pantry meaning they’ve come down from the ceiling, a small gap at the bottom of the pantry meaning they’ve come up from underneath the house. Then you can use Exterm-an-ant bait either inside the pantry (but that’s very messy!) or in other areas near where they may have come from. We further recommend Ant Ban which is an ant repellent in the form of an aerosol – spray the surrounding areas of the pantry to keep ants out, or if the entry point is identified, spray Ant Ban on and around the entry point to keep them out and reapply every couple of months.
Wet weather invasion
Probably best to just identify where they’re coming from (try to follow a trail to an entry/exit point), kill them with fly spray and clean them up, then apply Ant Ban around areas where they entered. Exterm-an-ant or Vanquish ant bait can then be used on the outside near where they entered when the weather fines up to avoid another wet-weather invasion. Which product you use depends on what the ants are generally after – sweets/carbohydrates such as jams, sugars and sweet foods – use Exterm-an-ant, or proteins such as pet foods, dead insects, rubbish bins – use Vanquish ant bait.
These ants are brown in colour, and are protein seeking ants so they’ll be getting into compost bins, rubbish bins, pet food, devouring dead insects, dead birds/rodents, etc. They are one of the world’s most invasive ant species and if you have them, you are unlikely to be able to get rid of them, but controlling them is easily achievable. They are predominantly an exterior ant, so if you keep the numbers down, they won’t generally bother you inside. Once they start coming inside – this is the indication that they are prolific outside. With a combination of Vanquish ant bait applied in a grid outside, followed by a spray treatment of X-It ant is the best combination for this ant species. Ant Ban is also good for use indoors to keep them out.
Need professional Ant Control services for your home or business? Don’t do it alone, we’ll take care of it all! Contact our friendly team today, we’re always ready to help.