We exterminate ten pests in one treatment when we spray your home for spiders

Your ants gone, Guaranteed!

Ants are the most numerous insect in the world and Australia is home to 1,300 of over 15,000 global species.

Ants inhabit every terrestrial habitat in every state and territory, at any time of year.

You may find yourself overwhelmed by an ant infestation but believe it or not, it is possible to protect your home or business and keep them out for good – we guarantee it!

Ants commonly found in the Canberra ACT Area

Of the 1,300 species of ants found in Australia, the 6 most common in the Canberra area are the white footed house ant, black house ant, bull ant, banded sugar ant, meat ant and Argentine ant.

At Canberra Pest Control, we exterminate all types of ants in the Canberra, ACT and local surrounding NSW areas. This handy guide will help you recognise the species that are likely to be found in Canberra and which species are living in your home.
White-Footed House Ant (Technomyrmex Albipes)

While white-footed house ants don’t cause structural damage, they are still considered a troublesome pest due to their prolific population growth.

These ants eat a variety of foods but are especially attracted to sweet substances.

Photo of a White-Footed House Ant

Colour

Dark brownish black with yellow-white feet.

Size

Adults grow from 2.5 to 3 millimetres long, with with three defined body sections: the head, a segmented thorax & abdomen.

Habitat

The white-footed house ant is aptly named, as it is extremely well-adapted to establish its nests inside in roof, floor or wall voids, especially near rooms like the kitchen, where food sources are more easily available. Outside they may live in tree trunks, under plant debris and near or under pavement.

Lifecycle

Almost half of the colony is made up of fertile, winged females who are responsible for the reproduction of up to a million ants in each colony. The brood, including eggs, larvae and pupae are cared for in the nest by the founding queen.

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Black House Ant (Ochetellus Glaber)

Although native to Australia, black house ants are a nuisance around the home or business due to their sheer numbers and a small nest can very quickly become a large infestation.

These ants eat a variety of foods but are especially attracted to sweet substances.

Photo of a Black House Ant

Colour

Shiny and black.

Size

Adults grow from 1.6 to 3 millimetres long, with three defined body sections: the head, thorax & abdomen.

Habitat

Just like the white-footed house ant, the black house ant is well-adapted to establish itself inside in roof, floor or wall voids, especially near rooms like the kitchen, where food sources are more easily available. Outside they may live in tree trunks, under plant debris and near or under pavement.

Lifecycle

Almost half of the colony is made up of fertile, winged females who are responsible for the reproduction of up to a million ants in each colony. The brood, including eggs, larvae and pupae are cared for in the nest by the founding queen.

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Bull/Bulldog Ant (Myrmecia)

When disturbed or threatened, these aggressive ants can cause a painful sting, although they don’t usually live indoors.

Photo of a Bull/Bulldog Ant

Colour

Shiny red and/or black.

Size

Adults grow from 8 to 40 millimetres, with large eyes and long, slender mandibles (claw-like mouth parts).

Habitat

Bull ants are well-adapted to establish themselves inside in roof, floor or wall voids, especially in moist areas such as the kitchen or bathroom. Outside, they build nests in bushy areas under logs or rocks, but are often found in urban garden areas.

Lifecycle

In each bull ant colony there is one queen who produces all the eggs, a few fertile males and the rest are infertile female workers. It can take several months for a bull ant to grow from an egg to an adult and the queen may live for several years.

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Banded Sugar Ant (Camponotus Consobrinus)

Banded sugar ants are nocturnal and like bull ants, rarely live indoors.

When they do venture inside, they have been known to cause damage to furniture and fittings by chewing the wood.

Photo of a Banded Sugar Ant

Colour

This species can vary greatly in size and colour. Generally, males are completely black, but females have a black head, orange thorax and orange-banded black abdomen.

Size

Adults grow from 2.5 to 15 millimetres, with worker ants being smaller and more slender than the soldiers.

Habitat

Banded sugar ants are well-adapted to establish themselves inside in roof, floor or wall voids, especially in moist areas such as the kitchen or bathroom. Outside, they can make their nests in a variety of habitats such as in tree trunks and under roots, rocks and ground cover. They can also build funnel-shaped mounds.

Lifecycle

Nests usually have one queen but have been known to contain several. Queens will mate and form colonies in mid-summer. It can take several months for a banded sugar ant to grow from an egg to an adult and the queen may live for up to 7 years.

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Meat Ant (Iridomyrmex Purpureus)

Meat ants are endemic to Australia and distributed over at least a third of the continent.

These ants are particularly prolific in coastal and inland regions of southeastern Australia.

Photo of a Meat Ant

Colour

Workers come in a variety of colours, from reddish to purple to blue-black, whilst queens are usually all black.

Size

Adults grow from 6 to 14 millimetres long, with three defined body sections: the head, thorax & abdomen.

Habitat

Meat ants are well-adapted to establish themselves inside in roof, floor or wall voids, especially in moist areas such as the kitchen or bathroom. Unlike many ant species, meat ants prefer sunny areas and often build large gravelly mounds out in the open. They will often compete with banded sugar ants over habitat.

Lifecycle

Fertile queens will mate in spring and begin to form their own colonies, which can grow to house up to 300,000 ants. It takes around 2 months for a meat ant to grow from an egg to an adult and the queen may live for several years.

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Argentine Ant (Linepithema Humile)

Native to Argentina, this invasive introduced species can often displace native ants, having a negative effect on the local ecosystem.

Photo of a Argentine Ant

Colour

Light to dark brown.

Size

Adults grow from 1.5 to 3 millimetres long, with three defined body sections: the head, thorax & abdomen.

Habitat

Argentine ants are known for aggressively usurping the nests of other species. Their nests can be hard to find, as they will often travel long distances to find food. They are well-adapted to establish themselves inside in roof, floor or wall voids, especially in moist areas such as the kitchen or bathroom. Outside they may live in tree trunks, under plant debris and near or under pavement.

Lifecycle

There are numerous queens in each colony. Colonies are built up in early spring when the winged queens and winged fertile males are produced. Afterwards in mid spring, the worker ants are produced.

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Coastal Brown Ant (Pheidole Megacephala)

Coastal brown ants are an invasive species worldwide and are considered a danger to native Australian ant species.

Photo of a Coastal Brown Ant

Colour

Yellowish brown to dark reddish brown.

Size

Adults grow from 1.5 to 2.5 millimetres long, with three defined body sections: the head, thorax & abdomen. The soldier ants are larger and more robust than the regular worker ants.

Habitat

Coastal brown ant nests are often found in the walls of buildings and behind skirting boards. Outside, they will nest in dry soil along pathways and walls. They tend to leave small mounds of dry dirt near edges and cracks in the pavement.

Lifecycle

There is usually just one or two reproductive queens of the colony, who shed their wings after mating. The rest are either winged males who simply mate with the queen, or wingless worker ants who do everything else.

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Pharaoh Ant (Monomorium Pharaonis)

Pharaoh ants are notorious indoor pests.

Due to their preference for warm, humid areas, they are often found in wall cavities of heated buildings such as hospitals.

Photo of a Pharaoh Ant

Colour

Infertile workers are yellow-brown with a darker abdomen, winged males are black and winged queens are dark red. All pharaoh ants have large black eyes.

Size

Adults grow from 1.5 to 6 millimetres long, with three defined body sections: the head, thorax & abdomen. The base of the thorax, before the abdomen is small and forms two small segments.

Habitat

Their trails can often be found in well-heated areas of buildings such as inside wall, floor & roof cavities. They can be hard to exterminate, as often their central seed colony can split into many budding colonies, only to regroup later.

Lifecycle

The complete lifecycle from egg to Adult takes less than two months, with queens only living for 4-12 months and workers even less. There are several queens within each colony.

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Odorous House Ant (Tapinoma Sessile)

They are so named because when crushed, odorous house ants produce a rancid buttery, coconut odour.

Photo of a Odorous House Ant

Colour

Odorous house ants vary from brown to black.

Size

Adults grow from 1.5 to 3.2 millimetres long, with three defined body sections: the head, thorax & abdomen. Like Singapore ants, their antennae are separated into 12 distinct segments.

Habitat

They are generally attracted to moist environments. Indoors they may be in house plants or damp wall cavities such as the kitchen or bathroom, while outside they may form nests under rocks or exposed soil.

Lifecycle

Odorous house ant colonies consist of multiple nests which contain multiple reproducing queens. After the eggs are laid, they take between 1-3 months to mature into adults From adulthood, fertile males will mate and die soon afterwards, whilst workers and queens may live for several months.

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Singapore Ant (Trichomyrmex Destructo)

Singapore ants are an invasive global species that are notorious pests.

In urban areas, their chewing activity can cause structural damage in buildings as well as serious damage to electronics and vehicles. They have also been known to bite humans aggressively, which can be painful.

Photo of a Singapore Ant

Colour

They range in colour from light to dark brownish yellow, usually with a darker chocolate brown abdomen.

Size

Adult Singapore ants are quite small, growing from 1.8 to 3.5 millimetres long, with three defined body sections: the head, thorax & abdomen. The base of the thorax, before the abdomen is small and forms two small segments. The head is square with 12 segmented antennae.

Habitat

They are very well-adapted to establish themselves inside in roof, floor or wall voids and in cupboards, especially in rooms like the kitchen, where food sources are more easily available. Outside they build their nests under pavement and rocks or beside walls.

Lifecycle

Each colony has multiple queens, which lay several eggs after mating. The rest are either winged males who simply mate with the queens, or wingless worker ants who do everything else.

Get rid of ants in Canberra now!

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Canberra Pest Control ant treatments What's Involved?

If you have ants in Canberra, here’s what we’ll do for you...
  1. A Pre-Work Risk Assessment will be completed over the phone at the time of booking with our office staff. Details include but are not limited to: type of premises, specific requirements, instructions and risk information.
  2. A further assessment will be conducted by your technician on site at the time of the treatment. Here we will identify the species and extent of infestation, as well as any risks involved. Ant treatment needs to be location-specific, so you should advise the technician exactly where you are seeing ants and, if known, the exact location of the nest.

  3. All facets of Integrated Pest Managment will be considered, including elimination of food & water sources, gaps and crevices, trapping, sanitation, hygiene and chemical preparations. Generally, the most effective treatment is to inject insecticide dust into the wall cavity or nest site. If needed, we may use ant gel or granule baiting products in addition to the insecticide.
  4. If the treatment area is accessible to small children or pets, we will use lockable ant cafés. These may also be used in commercial buildings or areas that are accessable.
  • Signs of an ant infestation Know where and what to look for...
  • How to prevent ants in your home Handy tips and tricks...

Signs of an ant infestation

Signs of an ant infestation What to Look for

Once ants get inside your home or business, they will generally build their nests within the wall, roof or floor cavities of moist areas, like the kitchen or bathroom. If you think you have an ant problem, check regularly for these signs of an infestation:

Ants In Large Numbers

If you’re seeing more than just a few ants here and there, you may have an infestation. Large numbers of ants in a particular area (such as the kitchen) usually means that there is a nest nearby. Nests can generally be located by following the train of ants to the source.

Nests

Outside, ant nests can look like a small mound of dirt or sand, with a few ants moving around the top. This can be deceiving, as there is often thousands hidden in the colony underneath. Indoors, ant nests can generally be found in hidden places like wall or floor cavities.

Trails

When a food source is found, ants will lay down a pheromone trail between the food and the nest. This is when you will see a neat trail of ants running in single file.

No Food Is Safe

If you have never had a pest problem before, you may be accustomed to leaving food out on the bench or in unsealed containers or packaging in the pantry. If you have an ant problem in your home, you will notice them getting into anything they can – not even the dog’s food is spared.

Pavement Damage

Some species of ant will remove small amounts of soil from concrete or brick paving in the construction of their nests. While the initial effect of this may seem miniscule, over time it can cause the pavement to crack or subside.

Plant Damage

In the garden, ants can make their nest near the base of small trees or shrubs, which can eventually grow so large that they uproot the plant. In addition, ants collect planted seeds which will prevent germination and can lead to a bare looking garden.

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How to prevent ants in your home

How to prevent ants in your home Handy Tips & Tricks

Here are some handy tips to help reclaim your home and keep ants out for good.

Clean up

By simply cleaning the surfaces in your house regularly and removing any organic matter that could potentially be food, you can discourage further infestation. This includes washing and drying dishes straight away, not leaving food out, wiping the counters, mopping the floors, cleaning the rangehood and cleaning pet food bowls daily. In your cupboard, store food in tightly sealed containers. Take out the rubbish daily and rinse all bottles and cans before recycling them.

Seal up your house

Use a sealant like caulk to seal up cracks and crevices around windows, skirting boards, floor boards, electrical outlets and pipes. Eliminate other entry points by replacing torn window and door screens. Varnishing wood surfaces will also help to seal them.

Keep plants away from the perimeter of your house

Ants’ natural habitat is amongst vegetation, therefore many will make their home in your garden and if there are trees, shrubs flowerbeds, or damp piles of grass clippings & leaves surrounding your house, they will have easy access to the inside through cracks or crevices.

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Ant FAQs

  • Can ants fly?

    Yes, most species of ants can fly. New queens and fertile males will engage in a nuptial flight, where they mate and then land to build a new colony. The queens will often shed their wings after mating.

  • Do ants carry diseases?

    Yes, it is possible. Just like any other animal that moves from one place to another, ants can carry diseases. Some ants feed on animal faeces and if these same ants contaminate your food, you may be at risk of contracting diseases such as salmonella or staphylococcus.

  • Do ants bite humans?

    Yes, they can and do. Ant bites may at times cause pain, redness and swelling, but generally have no further effects unless the person bitten has an allergy. The ants that are most aggressive towards humans will often live outside, such as the bull ant.

  • How do I tell which kind of ant is in my house?

    Refer to our ant identification guide to find out which species of ant you have a problem with. The most commonly found species in Canberra are the white footed house ant, black house ant, bull ant, banded sugar ant, meat ant and Argentine ant.

  • How can I tell if I have a ant infestation?

    In general, the ants you are seeing are only a small portion of the rest that are hiding in your home. Ants will build their nests either outside or in hidden, dark cavities inside walls or roof cavities or under floors. You should check your home or business regularly for signs of an infestation.

  • In addition to pest control, what else can I do to deter ants around the home?

    There are many things you can do yourself to discourage an ant infestation around your home. These include simple habits like cleaning surfaces and removing rubbish. For more information, read how to prevent an ant infestation.

  • Is pest control safe for children and pregnant women?

    The simple answer is yes. When we use pesticides or baits, we select formulations with the lowest toxicity available & apply these products where pests breed and live, not where you can come into contact with them.

  • Is pest control safe for my pets?

    Yes, however we have some basic precautions you must take, including having them away at the treatment time and ensuring all food and water bowls are upturned or removed from treatment areas prior to treatment.

  • What happens if I have asthma or allergies?

    Often you may simply need to stay out of the house for a little longer than usually needed. There are however, many different products and techniques we can use to control pests. If you or any member of your family suffers from asthma or is sensitive to chemicals, please let us know, or seek medical advice.

  • Is there a warranty on ant pest control?

    Yes, at Canberra Pest Control we offer a 3 month warranty on the specific sites treated inside your home or business. With regards to outside ant treatments, the average backyard has 200-300 ant nests and it would be impossible to treat them all. We do not offer a warranty on outside ants, we will however be happy to treat any areas that are a particular nuisance, e.g. around the entertaining area or BBQ.

Get rid of ants in Canberra now!

Call 6242 7779 or request a call back!

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The Most Common Pests We Treat

 

5 pest special offer!

When treating for spiders, we also exterminate cockroaches, silverfish, clothes moths, earwigs & slaters at no extra cost.