Facts about ants:
➤ Our most common ants in we find in South Africa on a daily basis are Black or Garden Ant, Pharaoh Ants, Red Fire Ant and the Crazy Ant.
➤ The characteristics of all the ants is very similar, but with slight differences in breeding and colonial habits. The metamorphosis of the
ant is complete with egg, larval, pupa and adult stages.
➤ The eggs have a white appearance and take 3 to 4 weeks to hatch and become larvae where after they will pupate. From these pupae
emerge the worker ants who take over the foraging duties. The workers are sterile females. They build and extend the nest, look
after the larval forms, caring for the young and forage for food, which is when they become pests.
➤ Ants are not loyal to their queens... The queens are the largest ants in a colony and her only function is to lay eggs. If she should die,
she will be replaced by another queen so the colony will continue to exist. Should she die, they get another queen and just start
another nest colony. Should their nest be disturbed or destroyed, the ants that were out foraging will merely go and start building
➤ The males perform no function other than to fertilise the queen and after mating they die. The entire cycle from egg to adult takes about
6 to 8 months to complete. However, ants live much longer than the average insect with the workers living as long as 7 years and
queens as long as 15 years!
Where do I find the black or garden ants mostly?
Black ants nest outside in grass and walls and in and under paving. When they excavate in paving
and foundations you will see fine mounds of sand which is when they are building their nests
Why are ants difficult to eradicate?
➤ Once black or garden ants are visible inside a house or any other building, then it is very difficult to get rid of them,
and drastic measures need to be taken.
➤ Ant colonies can harbour up to 300,000 ants with numerous queens and can live between 8 to 15 years!
Every 3 to 4 weeks the eggs hatch and a new breeding cycle begins.
➤ Ants live in several colonies and at least 40% of ants go out foraging during the day. When the area around the
nests has been sprayed the foraging ants could likely avoid the sprayed area and move to another area to nest.
Ants are also not very loyal to their queen. If the workers return to their nest to find the nest disturbed and the
queen dead, no problem to them, they get another queen and build another nest and so the cycle continues.
➤ Numerous males and queens develop as the colony increases, resulting in new nests being formed all the time over large areas.
Can I eradicate ants myself?
➤ Ants are 1 of the most difficult pests to eradicate and it is seldom effective if you try to treat the ants yourself as they require different
insecticide formulations and treatments such as ant gel, ant granules and residual sprays.
➤ Although frequently inaccessible and difficult to destroy, ants’ nests must be eradicated at the source if
infestations are to be successfully controlled. (See picture right)
➤ Merely spraying the ground will only provide temporary relief and will create a ‘budding’ effect which means
ants will merely move their nests, get more queens and multiply.
➤ Once the chemical residue spray becomes ineffective, the workers from the nest outdoors will again invade
the building as the reproductives in the nest will continue to produce more workers.
➤ There is evidence that ants also avoid areas that are treated, and if other routes to food and water can be
found, a poor control job will result.
➤ It should be remembered that all ant treatments will take at least 2 treatments or more for control to occur
and therefore it is necessary to use a follow up treatment in order to be effective.
➤ So for your ant control, your BEST CHOICE will be to phone 1st Choice Pest Control for an effective but
What damage do they cause? Ants are a pest to man because they:
2. Invade and contaminate food
3. Nest in lawns
4. Damage gardens, pavements, driveways and foundations
5. Feed on germinating seeds
6. Defoliating or gnawing into plants
7. Gnawing holes into fabrics
8. Remove rubber installation from telephone lines
9. Kill young poultry, birds or livestock
10. Possibly transmitting certain human diseases as they crawl over faeces and carrion