Lifestyle

Dry weather brings tidal wave of pests, so don't feed them

ANTS are on the move, looking for a place to live.

And they find your home attractive for the same reason you do: it is dry, with a plentiful supply of food and moisture.

James Cook University's Centre for Tropical Biodiversity & Climate Change professor Simon Robson said ants had been living in the humans' homes for hundreds of years.

"This time of the year there are a lot more queen ants getting around, looking to set up new colonies," he said.

"The best way to keep them out of your home is to keep it clean and tidy.

"A little bit of food goes a long way with ants. A box of cereal will feed thousands."

Prof Robson said keeping food packages tightly sealed and cleaning up any food scraps was the key to getting ants to leave your house and go in search of a new home.

"If your home is cleaner than your neighbours then the ants will become their problem," he said.

Prof Robson said as the weather cooled down ant activity would calm down, but in the meantime you could dwell on the positives.

"Ants don't carry diseases so there are no health issues," he said.

"They also clean up any other dead insects and carry them away to their nests."

Prof Robson said it was also worth remembering that ants had a vital role to play in the world.

But not everyone is content to put up with ants in their homes, and Bundaberg Amalgamated Pest Control owner Keith Griffiths said his company had experienced a 30-40% increase in ant-related call-outs in the past four to six weeks.

"The dry conditions have ants looking for water: dripping tap or irrigation," he said.

"There's nothing out in the fields.

"It's mainly the smaller and larger black ants, not so many of the coastal brown ants."

Mr Griffiths said the best way to eliminate ants was to book a home pest inspection because ants could reveal a more sinister problem.

"Ants and termites can work together," he said.

Mr Griffiths said while home remedies and household chemical treatments would repel ants for hours or even a day or two to completely remove them, more drastic measures were needed.

"The chemicals we are licensed to use get rid of the entire colony," he said.

Did you know...

Ants can lift up to 50 times their own body weight, some even more

Ants in the house are said to be lucky, it means you will prosper

Some ant species make slaves out of other ant species

Topics:  ants bundaberg pests weather



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