Ants can be a difficult pest for residents to control

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In the metropolitan area ants are more of a pest towards the end of summer and beginning of autumn when the weather becomes humid.

AS small as they are ants can undermine paving, short out electrics and inflict a nasty bite.

There are more than 12,000 species of ants worldwide, with some species living up to 15 years.

Ants will eat any foods but are especially attracted to sweet foods.

The onset of spring will usually increase the metabolism of ants, other insects and spiders but in Perth ants are more predominant as a pest towards the end of summer and beginning of autumn when the weather becomes humid.

In Perth, the most common species include black ants, coastal brown ants, Argentine ants and bull ants.

Ants can be a nuisance for homeowners.

Coastal brown ants or big head ants have the ability to undermine paving, Singapore ants can short out electrics because they build a nest behind a power point and eat the plastic insulation that protects the wiring.

Bull ants inflict nasty bites if children land on a nest while playing in the garden, white-footed ants are known to live in the wall cavities of houses and Argentine ants march in their hundreds as a thick band between the ant nest and a food source.

Ants, predominantly live in big colonies, generally underground although finding them in a wall cavity, piece of large timber, old cupboard on the back veranda or the roof void is not unlikely.

Through what appears as a small hole on the soil surface, the nests expand underground as a series of tunnels large enough in some instances to hold tens of thousands of individuals of a species.

This reason alone is why home remedy treatments may be ineffective.

Treatment at the surface will certainly eradicate those surface ants but the ants living further down will not be affected.

Pest controllers advise that ants can be the hardest pest to gain control of at a property and it can take a combination of a wet spray, gel and granules to effectively and efficiently control this pest for homeowners.

Actions that homeowners can practice at home to reduce the risk of ant infestations include maintaining a clean kitchen and food preparation area, ensure that the pets are fed only the amount of food they require then removing the feed bowl and washing it, ensure that poultry coups and aviaries are cleared of excess food daily and cleaning up dog faeces daily.

By Amanda Cope from Quinns Districts Pest Management.

The advice given here is general in nature – and your specific situation should be discussed with your pest controller.