Australia is home to over 1500 species of ants, many of them unique to the continent. Ants are fascinating and much studied. Nevertheless ants, especially invasive species from abroad, are among Australia's most common and persistent pests. Melbourne is no stranger to them.
Here are some of the commonest questions we get asked.
General Pest Control FAQs
Q. What does the most basic treatment cover?
For the minimal package, we do a simple treatment that covers control and prevention of most insect infestations. However, if the infestation is severe, we will recommend a suitable advanced package if you so wish.
Q. What methods do you use?
Here's our usual 4-step method, but it may change depending on the nature of the infestation:
- Assessment: Your Protech Pest Control technician will first inspect your home or office for the source and extent of infestation, including the roof, space under the floor, basements, ducting and outdoors.
- Selection: We will select products including ant dusts/powders, sprays, granules and ant baits according to the species (see below).
- Spraying: Pesticide will be sprayed over ant trails, while cracks and crevices will be dusted with ant powder. Preventive spray/dust will be applied to the usual suspects like tap fittings and kitchen tops.
- Baiting: An ant cafe is a kind of bait that draws out ants by the hundred to an irresistible. These 'cafes' are then gathered up and exterminated.
Q. Are your pest-control services child-safe? Are they pet-safe?
Completely. Protech Pest Control uses only those methods and products that are certified safe for domestic use. Ant bodies are different from human and animal bodies - so the pesticides that are toxic for them are fairly safe for humans and pets. Nevertheless, we use these chemicals through a safe procedure, and we request you to adhere to the precautions that our experts will tell you about when they make a visit.
Q. Will the rains wash out your treatment?
No. Today's methods ensure that the sprays, dusts and granules we use are either water-proof, or actually aided by rainwater.
Ant Control FAQs
Q. How much does ant removal (control) cost?
Removing an infestation and preventing re-infestation depends on a number of factors, which affect the cost: ant species, environs and size of the house, treatment type required. Accordingly, your pest control charges may range from $100 to XXX.
Q. How does Protech Pest Control go about it?
When you hire Protech Pest Control, we first inspect your house, office or industrial premises and its surroundings for the source of infestation. We will then uproot it with effective and eco-friendly pesticides, alongside eliminating foraging ants with effective ant baits.
Q. What guarantees that the ants will go and not come back?
We try our professional best to locate the source of infestation and its severity so that we can deploy the right measures. Nevertheless, ants are highly versatile and adaptable, and there's no iron-clad guarantee that other ants will not come. We provide a full-service warranty of 6 months, so you get a free service if the insects are back. That's why it's important to follow the preventive measures that our technicians advise.
Q. How long does it take to be fully free from ants?
Anywhere from 2 days to 3 weeks. Just as the ant infestation built up over many days, removing (controlling) them too takes time. You have to give us the time to locate the source of infestation and to find out how big the colony is. We then have to bait out as many ants as well as penetrate the colony to destroy it in full - and both of these take time. We advise our clients that it can take up to 48 days to gain maximum control.
Q. The ant treatment seems to have boomeranged on us.
It won't last long. Some treatments require us to bait the ants to make them come out of their nests and walk into poison traps. These baits (ant cafes) may need to be used for up to 3 weeks to mop us all the ants. Other treatments applied to the nest will cause them to abandon it and swarm outside. Luckily, this lasts for no more than a day, when we can mop up the ants.
Q. How long with the pest control last me?
Up to 6 months, before the chemicals start breaking down. If baits are applied, they last for much less. If you're lucky, the infestation will be gone in one 'visit', but ants are pretty tough customers. For that reason, we recommend you go for a maintenance plan that includes repeated pest-control service visits.
Ant Species FAQs
Q. Why is it important to know the species?
Different species require different pest control techniques. Ant baits will work for some species, drawing them out of the nests and killing them. For other species, there is no other choice but to locate their nest (not easy) and uproot it.
Q. What are the common species in Melbourne?
Most ant species that are pests are invasive; only a few are native. Here the most common ones:
- Brown Ants (Monomorium pharaonis) are the tiny brown ones that can seem to appear out of nowhere and take over your house. They are rather tough to eradicate.
- Black Ants (either Camponotus (the big ones) or Ochetellus glaber (small ones)) love houses. They like nesting in empty spaces in walls or roofs.
- Coastal Brown Ants (Pheidole megacephala), or bigheaded ants are a super-invasive species, and are a tough customer for removal (control).
- Argentine Ants (Linepithema humile), are small brown ants that form one of the world's most invasive species. While preferring to stay underground in cooler months, they swarm over everything in summers - lawns, potted plants, rubbish bins, bathrooms, you name it.
Other include White-footed House Ants (Technomyrmex albipes), Bull Ants (Myrmecia spp) and the uncommon but fearsome Fire Ants (Solenopsis invicta).
Q. How do you remove (control) Argentine ants?
An Argentine ant colony can be so huge that it spreads over many houses in a neighbourhood. Thus, you need to keep constant watch against re-infestation from a neighbour's untreated house.
Alongside treatment, we also recommend that you block all potential nesting sites, like brick or lumber piles, cracks in paving - anything that gives them shelter, for they don't like coming out in the open. Ensuring that there are no potential bridges (overhanging trees, ivy on fences) from neighbouring homes to yours also helps. Seal all cracks or other gaps that allows ants from outside to come in.
Q. How do you remove (control) carpenter ants?
Carpenter ants love ammonia - so they particularly infest damp places like toilets, bathrooms and below the kitchen sink. Post-treatment, ensure these places remain as dry and ventilated as possible (that also keeps them roach-free).
These insects have a complex society, with one parent colony, usually outdoors where it is dry, and a few satellite colonies indoors where they collect moisture from. Exterminating the one inside the house will only mean the parent will send out another colony - so it's important to find that colony and destroy it. At Protech Pest Control we will automatically seek out the parent if we find a carpenter ant problem..
Q. How do you remove (control) fire ants?
These are not common, but very persistent once they infest your place. They nest in the yard rather than the house, and can be identified by their characteristic mounds. They also form multiple colonies quickly, so even if one is cleared out, others will quickly fill the void. The usual treatment is to use fire ant-specific baits, as well as other chemicals meant for the nest. But you'll need to treat them regularly to keep them down to negligible numbers.
Q. How do you remove (control) pharaoh ants?
These ants are tricky to deal with, as they easily adapt to various conditions. Attacking the nest directly only cause the ants to split up and found new ones - and they can do it in various spaces like cracks in the wall or floor, gaps in the roof, in A/C or heating ducts, cable boxes etc. They have to be baited out till the nest is depleted.
Give us a Call
If you have a question we haven't answered, please call Protech Pest Control and we'll be happy to answer it as best as we can.
Call us from anywhere in Melbourne on 1300 780 980