While New Zealand has 43 registered ant species the Auckland area has 5 main types that need control and eradication in and around the home, each with its own characteristics in diet, habitat and behaviour and each requiring a different solution for its control, management and eradication. Ants are considered a nuisance pest due to their appearance in mass when the right food source is found in the pantry, they are considered a low health risk, although flying ants seen just prior to their breeding cycle can give a nasty allergic bite.
At bugless we are experienced in identifying the ant type and have the capability to eliminate them as a nuisance both indoors and outside. While there are many of the shelf products for the DIY person true and final eradication is usually the domain of the pest expert. Key to reducing Ant ingress into a kitchen or house is removing food sources though consistent hygiene and sanitation practices that eliminate the opportunity for them to feed.
Common Ant Types in New Zealand
Black House Ant (Ochetellus glaber)
The black house ant is the most common ant in and around the home and commonly nests under and around paths and rockeries and other crevices. They may nest in cavity walls and sometimes indoors or in sub-floor areas. They eat a variety of food materials but prefer sweets.
White Footed House Ant (Technomyrex albipes)
The White-footed house ant nests around paths and rockeries, inside cavity walls, behind skirting boards and architraves, under and behind kitchen cupboards, etc. They will eat most things from meat to sweets with a preference for sweets however food choice can be seasonal.
Argentine Ant (Linepithema humile)
The Argentine ant has gained notoriety as a major killer of NZ native harmless bugs and ants and will drive other Ants from its area. Their nests can be enormous with multiple queens within the nests. The nest will bud off and start as an adjacent connected nest and will continue to do this for 100's of metres and some times kilometres. Nests are usually outside under paving and other objects near water and food supplies. They move in well-defined trails they prefer sweet foods such as sugars and honeydew, but will also eat proteins such as meat, insects and seeds. They will aggressively seek food entering apparently sealed cupboards and fridges The Argentine Ant is considered so threatening and invasive that Landcare Research has set up a separate web site https://argentineants.landcareresearch.co.nz/index.asp
Coastal Brown Ant (Pheidole megacephala)
The Coastal Brown ant is a very successful invasive species that infest houses, stores and gardens often located in building structures, in crevices in brickwork in cavity walls and behind skirting boards and architraves and sometimes around rockeries and paths. It prefers material of animal origin, including dead insects, meat particles, fat and grease and bread. It can loosen the soil around trees causing them to fall over. It does not sting but may bite when disturbed.
Pharaoh Ant (Monomorium pharaonic)
The Pharaoh ant is the most ghoulish ant feeding on blood, body fluid and body waste in hospitals. They typically form large colonies, with many queens and may travel a considerable distance for food. Commonly nests are indoors in wall voids, beneath floors, around foundations, in ceilings and in other parts of the building. Nests are often in warmer parts of a building. They feed on a wide variety of materials including sweet, protein, and fats-including syrups, bakery items, grease, dead insects and meats.