Let’s face it, ants are everywhere! Australia’s warm, humid climate creates the perfect atmosphere for ants to thrive. Since we can find ants almost anywhere in Australia, it’s important to know when you are dealing with an ant infestation.
Over-the-counter ant sprays and do-it-yourself (DIY) treatments aren’t enough to rid your home of an infestation, so we’re here to tell you when it’s time to get the ant pest control professionals involved!
6 Signs Of An Ant Infestation
If you notice any of the following signs of an ant infestation, get in touch with our team today!
1. Visibly seeing ants walking around inside or outside your home.
Live ants are the first and easiest sign of an ant infestation. For ants you find outside of your home, it’s only a matter of time before they venture inside. If you notice more ants than the usual few you come across while gardening, including large mounds and big groups of ants clustering together outside, you’re likely dealing with an infestation. These large outdoor ant colonies will eventually find their way into your home so it’s important to treat the colonies before the ant population explodes!
Seeing ants inside your home is already a cause for concern because it means the ant colonies outside have exploded! It’s possible for over-the-counter ant sprays to take out the few visible ants you see but they won’t destroy the entire colony. Until you can professionally and completely treat the outdoor ant infestation, you’ll continue to see ants return to your home.
2. Coming across a literal ant trail.
Have you literally noticed the ants come marching in?
This usually means you’re already dealing with an ant infestation. When ants are found walking through your home in a trail it’s likely they are setting a pheromone trail to an already found food source. Unless you treat the ants in a way that it transfers back to the colony, it will be difficult to stop them from finding the source again.
3. Finding ant mounds outside your home.
As mentioned earlier, if you find a lot of ants outside your home, more than a few, it’s likely you’re already dealing with an ant infestation. Both small and large mounds of dirt with ants may not seem like a big deal because they’re outside, but it means there can be hundreds, if not thousands lurking below the surface just waiting to enter your home due to changes in weather, air pressure, and more.
4. If you’ve left out any food and see ants crawling in or around it.
Have you seen ants in food that you’ve left out — hopefully accidentally? Ants aren’t picky eaters! Exposed food is a huge target for ants which is a big sign your home is infested. Keeping your home clean is the best way to prevent ants from returning.
If you have pets we recommend keeping an eye on their food bowls. If you’ve seen any of these signs in your home, get in touch with us right away!
5. Insect wings on the floor, on window ledges, or close to outdoor entrances.
Many companies or blogs will claim that seeing old ant wings within the dust and debris in your home is a sign of an ant infestation, however, you’re more likely to be dealing with termites.
Normally, between November and December or at the height of increased humidity, queen termites take flight to find a colony where they will thrive. Their old wings are then discarded which is what you might find lying around your home. Don’t confuse these for ants! However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’re dealing with a termite infestation just yet. If you want some peace of mind, get in touch with our team for an onsite termite inspection.
If you’ve also seen any “white ants” we strongly recommend getting in touch with a professional as you might be dealing with a termite infestation.
6. Finding ants living inside your trees.
This may seem unusual, but check the trees in your backyard. Ants don’t just live underground, they’re known to live inside of dead branches of trees.
If you notice a lot of ants crawling up and down the branches of your trees, contact your local pest control experts to treat the ants around your home.
How To Prevent Ant Infestation
Whether you’re lucky enough to have already treated your ant infestation or haven’t stumbled upon one, we strongly recommend following these simple, but effective tips to prevent an ant infestation in the future:
1. Eliminate the scout ants before they make it back to the colony!
Scout ants take their jobs seriously! They’re required to find the food sources and make their way back to the colony with directions. If you notice any lonely ants travelling around your home or kitchen, we recommend removing them, removing any trace of a potential trail, and contacting the professionals for an ant control treatment.
2. Repair or seal any cracks or crevices inside your home.
This won’t necessarily prevent ants from entering your home, but it can help keep your home more clean leaving fewer places for dust or crumbs to gather.
Homes in Australia are built differently, for example, all window frames have holes (to help avoid condensation) and brick exterior homes all have weep holes. When our team treats a brick exterior home in Queensland for an ant infestation, we often dust within weep holes.
If you’re trying to seal any entrance of your home for ants you’re wasting your time. Ants are tiny and can get into your home through the smallest of crevices. Instead, you have to treat the ants from outside before they have a chance to get in.
3. Keep your home clean!
This is most likely the easiest and best way to prevent an ant infestation. Ants come looking for food so their colonies can survive. If you keep food and debris away from ants, there’s no need for them to come looking, and if they do, they won’t find anything. To keep your home clean, we recommend:
- Cleaning up any dirty dishes. Don’t leave dishes or leftovers out on the table or in your kitchen sink, make sure to clean them up when you’re done to avoid attracting ants. Don’t forget to store any leftover food in sealed containers!
- Wipe down and dust high-touch surface areas in your home. We don’t just eat in the kitchen, you’re likely to have a snack in your living room or at your office desk. Wipe down and disinfect these surfaces regularly so there’s no trace of food to attract ants.
- Dust and vacuum regularly. Dusting and vacuuming will keep any additional food debris from hanging around surfaces and your floor.
- Put any rubbish away. Take out your rubbish and don’t leave it around for ants to find!
- Don’t leave your pet dishes or food on the ground. We recommend setting a feeding schedule so food bowls aren’t kept on the ground for ants to get to.
4. Keep up with any outdoor yard maintenance.
Keeping your yard clean, swept, and weed-free will help you notice ant mounds or any ant colonies living inside of your trees — this way you can deal with them sooner!
Regular yard maintenance also has the benefit of keeping away other insects, not just ants! For example, regularly mowing your lawn will prevent spiders from gathering and spinning webs.
Don’t forget to check your gutters, sometimes ants will climb up or get carried in through leaves. Keeping your gutters clean will help prevent ants from finding new and clever ways into your home.
5. Call a professional pest control company and keep up with regular maintenance treatments.
There’s no way to get rid of ants completely but if you are dealing with an ant infestation and choose to treat the problem professionally, it’s also important to maintain regular treatments every 12 months to keep your home ant-free!
For anyone that doesn’t want to see an ant, ever, If you live somewhere with heavy pressure, within a rural setting, backing off bushland, or have lots of palm trees and other plants that attract ants, we recommend regular 6-month ant maintenance treatments.
Want to get rid of your ant infestation?
More often than not, if you see live ants in your home you’re already dealing with an ant infestation and if you currently experience any one or more of the signs above, you definitely are!
If you have any questions about a potential ant infestation don’t hesitate to contact our team, we’re here to help.
If you’re confident about an ant infestation in your home and you want it gone, book an ant control treatment today!