The Southern ant may be the most common native ant in New Zealand. It is found all parts of the country and in most habitats. But it is not often a pest that will forage indoors.
Identify the problem
Usually 3-5 mm in size these ants range in colour from honey brown to black. They don't follow trails but instead forage haphazardly. They feed on seeds, nectar and honeydew from sap-sucking insects. The queens and males grow wings for nuptial flights.
Flying Ants - Often referred to as alates, ants with wings are the female queens and male ants who grow wings, take the air for a nuptial flight to reproduce, and start new colonies. This happens in the form of swarms that can be of significant numbers. Read more.
Image by The photographer April Nobile and www.AntWeb.org, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8150821
To get rid of ants follow these simple steps:
- Search > Find the ant nest sites. In most cases ant nests will be in warm, dry sandy soil, often under a rock, paving stone, driveway etc. where the nest is kept dry. On warm days search for a stream of worker ants going back and forth into a hole in the ground. It may be possible to drop bread crumbs in their path and then watch the ants carry the crumbs back the nest. Do not treat this entrance with insecticide yet.
Now carry out the Kiwicare 1-2-3 Bait-Barrier-Destroy program.
- Kill the queens > Use many small amounts of NO Ants Nest Killer Gel Bait or NO Ants Liquid Bait where you see ants or have seen them in the past. If the gel is not being taken, try the liquid bait and vice versa. Workers feed on the bait and take it back to the nest to feed and kill the queen(s) and larvae. Replenish the bait regularly until you see no more (or very few) insects feeding. Only then should you use spray insecticide to eradicate the nests and to act as a barrier to further infestation. Ants are very sensitive to strong chemicals. All dishes or containers used to hold bait should be rinsed well with clean water and dried before use. A great alternative is to use a strip of masking tape and squeeze the bait on top. The tape will hold the bait in place and can be easily removed. .
- Stop them with barriers > NO Ants Barrier Spray, NO Bugs Indoor and NO Bugs Super surface sprays will kill ants that cross the treated surfaces but will also act as a barrier; many species of ant will avoid the treated surfaces if possible. It is best to think of sprays used in and around the home as barriers. Sprinkle LawnPro Protect in flowerbeds, drives and gravel pathways in a ring around the home. When watered in it penetrates the soil killing nests and acting as a ‘curtain’ barrier
- Deny them a nest site > Brush NO Ants Ant Sand into the cracks and crevices in paving and driveways to kill nests and prevent ants using these nest entrances.
- How to Get Rid of Ants video.
- How to Deal With Ants in Vehicles.
- Download the 1-2-3 Ant Control Programme