Living with ants can prove to be the bane of our lives. These hard-working little insects have a habit of getting into absolutely everything and if you are unfortunate to leave a couple of crumbs behind or the sugar bowl or jam out, especially during the hot summer months, you are in for a rather nasty surprise. Ants tend to look for food and water during dry spells when there is a lack of water, entering your premises and becoming a nuisance to all.
Prevention is usually not sufficient when living with ant colonies – that is why at Mostert we offer our professional ant exterminator services that are undertaken by experienced teams to ensure your environment is 100% ant-free through a variety of methods that will keep these invasive insects away from your home or place of work.
Our expert insect exterminating team will be able to advise, inspect and recommend the best course of action to control and eradicate ants.
Mostert’s Ant Exterminator methods that are used include:
- For indoor areas we apply Gel Bait – the bait is then consumed by the worker ants and carried into the nest which will, in turn, be poisoned
- Indoor Pesticides – these are applied as a preventative measure indoors which form a barrier
- Granule Outdoor Bait – the granules are transported into the nest via the worker ants and in turn, will poison the nests (should it rain after the ant exterminator service has been completed eradication will not be affected)
About ants in South Africa and why it is important to take drastic steps to eliminate these pests:
Ants live in colonies which can typically be found underground. Colonies are made up of the queen ant and worker ants. They eat almost any type of food, which makes it difficult to get rid of.
There are literally thousands of ant species in South Africa, although most of them are regarded as beneficial as they assist in controlling the number of destructive insects, dispose of carrion and remove all kinds of organic debris. During their scavenging excursions ants constantly enter human habitats, where they build widespread nests, and in so doing they often hollow out walls or floors, and outdoors they weaken paths and soil, and destroy crops through the construction of their nests.
To identify the different types of ants is a relatively easy exercise, as all ants have typical distinctive features consisting of head and antennae, abdomen and thorax.
There are many different species found in South Africa, although the Black House Ant, the Garden Ant, the Argentine Ant, the Coastal Brown Ant, Fire Ant and Pharaoh Ant are among the most common types we are likely to encounter in our daily lives.
The Argentine Ant can grow up to 1.6 mm in length when they reach adulthood and are dark brown in appearance. Both the king and queen ant of this species have wings that enable them to fly so that they can mate with each other. The tireless worker ants of this species are wingless, can travel for great distances while their diet can include anything from meat to cereals, dead insects and even live bugs.
The Coastal Brown Ant, on the other hand, grows to 1.5 mm and 2.5 mm when they reach adulthood. The worker ants have no wings, but the male Coastal Brown Ants have wings that enable them to fly to seek out mates. The females of this species are larger than the males, are wingless, and enjoy living a lot longer. They nest in the soil, feeding on fruit, anything sweet and meat products.
Pharaoh Ants, on the other hand, are a brownish-yellow with distinctive brown abdomens. They have black wings which help them find mates during the mating season. Adult Pharaoh Ants grow to 3 mm when they reach adulthood, while the workers are anything from 1.5 mm and 2mm. Queen Pharaoh Ants reach between 3.5 mm and 6mm and are able to produce up to 3 500 eggs throughout their lives. Pharaoh Ants like protein-rich diets and feed on dead insects, blood, fat and meat.
Fire Ants are between three to six mm in size when they reach adulthood with the females laying up to 125 eggs every spring (small wonder they are tough to get rid of). They have copper-coloured upper bodies and heads and their abdomens are a darker shade. Fire ants cause huge losses as their colonies eat away at crops, invading areas that are outside and inside. They feed on other insects, worms and dead animals.
Ants are prolific breeders regardless of their species, making them difficult to get rid of once they have built their nests. These are only a couple of ant descriptions as there are numerous other species found throughout South Africa, which vary in habitat, size, colour, breeding and feeding habits.
All ants are social and work in well-orchestrated teams regardless of their species. Typically, ant colonies consist of soldier ants that are there to protect their queen, skilfully guard the colony, feed the colony through a variety of methods and attack their opponents (other ant colonies) in their quest for food and spaces for nesting. Defeated ant colonies stand to lose their eggs to the victors, and when these eggs eventually do hatch, they are considered as being “slave labour” to the colony they have fallen victim to! Tasks of the ant colony include taking care of the eggs and hatchlings, finding food to feed the colony and building mounds and anthills.
Don’t leave ant infestations as these could become hugely problematic. Instead, once you discover or see any signs of ant infestations in your environment, it is advisable to contact Mostert Pest Control for your ant infestations. Our Mostert Pest Control team will then inspect your premises, whether it is an office, factory, commercial outlet or home, where our professionals will be able to recommend the right course of action for ant control and extermination.