Ants are the most annoying pest in urban pest control especially as they are often found in kitchens where they scavenge for food and the sweet eaters are in your cupboards going for the honey and other sweet products you may have. Ants will consume and contaminate food and can present a health risk as they can physically transmitt diseases such as disentry and salmonella food poisoning. They are social insects living in a colony that consistsof a queen, workers, soldiers and at times reproductives. The queen has solely reproductive functions. The workers and soldiers do the work of the colony and protect it. It is the worker you will find in the kitchens looking for food.
Ants live in nests which can vary greatly in size and are mostly found in the soil, wood and among rocks around the homes which have replaced their once open land space. The life cycle of ants is between 6 weeks and several months, depending on the species and conditions. The eggs hatch into grub like larvae, which are fed by adults. When fully fed the larvae pupate and eventially the adult ant emerges. There are hundreds of species of ants but only a relativel few are encounted as a pest species. Some of the more common ants found are. Whitefooted House Ant- feeding on meat and sweet foods and most common in homes, Argentine Ant- brown in colour and found moving in large numbers in trails. They drive other ants away and will walk over a hand placed in a traiol. Nests are usually outdoors in exposed soils or under rotting wood, but during wet weather may be moved indoors. They prefer sweet foods but will eat meat, insects and seeds. Pharaohs Ant- 2mm long, yellow to brown in colour. Nests are commonly indoors in places such as wall voids , ceilings and beneath floors. They prefer high protein food such as meat and blood but will eat most food types if needbe. Coastal Brown Ants- 2mm long yellow brown in colour. There are 2 worker castes , one of which enlarged and darker head. These ants often nest in homes but can also be found outside in pavers and paths. They prefer food of animal origin such as meat, insects and fats. Carpenter Ants- 7-12mm in lenght and colour varies from brown to black. Mostly nest in decayed wood and sometimes soil. They eat a wide variety of foods including insects, many household wastes and honeydew.