A Quick Guide to Common Australian Ants

Do you know how to identify which ants you have around your home? Do you know which ones to keep an eye out for because they’re likely to cause problems? If you’re aware of the types of ants you have around your home it can help you get an ant problem under control much sooner. Here’s our simple guide to the different type of ants you might see in Australia.

Carpenter Ant (Camponotus spp)

  • 3 to 12mm in length
  • Live both indoors and outdoors
  • Commonly nest in moist wood (e.g. a decaying tree trunk or in the rotting walls of a house)
  • Attracted to sugar and sweet things
  • Main diet is nectar and honeydew
  • They can be destructive to the rotting wood inside a house. Thankfully these ants don’t work as fast as termites and once you’ve identified their presence, it’s easy to control them.

Black House Ants (Ochetellus glaber)

  • Shiny black in appearance
  • 2.5 to 3mm
  • Attracted to sweets
  • Often become a problem in kitchens, garbage bins, pet food bowls etc
  • These ants can become a major pest in your household
  • The best way to get rid of black house ants is to find the colony and treat it

Argentine Ant (Linepithema humile)

  • Light to dark brown in colour
  • 1.5mm long
  • Can bite but don’t sting
  • Attracted to sweets, but will also eat meats and cereals
Green ant with mandible wide open
Green ant with mandible wide open

Green Ants (Rhytidoponera metallica)

  • Black and metallic green colour
  • 5 to 6 mm in size
  • Nest among rocks, between cracks in footpaths or in soil
  • Unlikely to find them within your house
  • Pose a problem when nesting in backyards due to painful sting
  • Painful sting
  • Feeds on vegetable matter

Sugar Ant (Camponotus consobrinus)

  • Brown and black in colour depending on the species
  • 2.5 to 15mm in size
  • Nests in wood and in roots of plants or in soil
  • Cannot sting but do bite
  • Can spray acid to deter predators
  • Feed on insects and are attracted to sweet things (e.g. honey and lollies)
  • Most likely to see them outside

Bull Ant (Myrmecia spp)

  • Redish black in appearance
  • 18 to 20mm long
  • Very aggressive
  • Strong mandibles and deliver a painful bite and sting
  • Located mostly in bushy areas
  • Feed mostly on other insects
  • Rarely enters houses

Garden Ant (Lasius niger)

  • Dark brown black colour
  • 4 to 5mm size
  • No sting
  • Attracted to sweet foods
  • Have swarming characteristics
  • Nest in soil, in the side of garden beds or underneath bricks
  • Nests can be identified by fine powdery soil around nest entrance
  • Rarely come inside

This guide does not include all ant types in Australia. If you’re unsure of the species of an ant in your home, be sure to consult a professional.

If you’re experiencing a problem with ants in or around your home contact Ivey’s Carpet Cleaning and Pest Control for all your Fraser Coast pest control needs. Call us on (07) 4122 4148 or visit our website for a free quote today.

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