The green ant, or the Rhytidoponera Metallica, is one of the most commonly seen ant species in Australia and New Zealand. The only place where they haven’t established for now is Tasmania. Green ants can be extremely dangerous because of their poisonous sting, which is able to cause a strong allergic reaction that often leads to an anaphylactic shock. So if you are a victim of infestation, don’t waste any time waiting around for the bugs to go away by themselves.
In this article, we will tell you everything about how to recognise the pesky insect, along with the most efficient ways of green ant nest removal and green ant bite treatment.
How to kill green ants
Similar to any other pest infestation, the type of treatment is determined by the size and seriousness of the attack. In any case, you should start off by killing all the nests you can find with granular ant bait. Usually, when you put the bait, ants won’t eat all of it immediately. They will share it with the rest of the colony, spreading the poison to places where you can’t reach. In time you will notice that the activity of the nest is getting lower and lower, which means that most of the ants have already consumed the bait and have died.
After that, you should use a soil spray green ant poison to keep the bugs from coming back. Apply a concentrated amount of the product to areas where you’ve seen nests and noticed a lot of ant movement.
Keep in mind though, that this technique will only affect only the ants’ nests that are in your lawn but it will not keep the ones coming from the outside from invading your home. There is always the chance of your neighbours being also invaded and if you are the only one treating the problem, the ant families from other properties will quickly transfer to your own.
So, when you’re looking up how to eradicate green ants, first, we recommend that you consult with your neighbours so that you can coordinate all treatments and achieve maximum results. A full treatment that includes granular insecticides or a non-repellent spray is considered to be the most effective and long-lasting one.
Green ant nest removal
If you are dealing with an infestation on your own, it’s always best to start by finding all the nests. Green ants create their nests by sticking leaves located at the end of a branch. Nests can be found in various sizes, so don’t be surprised if you spot one big as a human fist or another with the diameter of a soccer ball.
It may sound like a lot of work, but in reality, the bugs don’t waste too much time to build their houses. Some colonies are capable of making a larger nest in less than a day.
A simple way of dealing with those nests is by destroying them manually. Push the nest to the ground and brush it off. It might sound a bit obvious and pointless but there is a logic behind this technique.
Green ants don’t enjoy walking on the ground, so once they see that their nest is demolished, they will more likely start to search for another location, rather than re-building the house that they’ve lost.
However, this method is recommended only if the colony is in its early stages of development. If you’ve seen only a dozen nests, it will not be as time-consuming.
Keep in mind that a mature colony of green-head ants can spread to up to 12 trees, making more than 150 nests. So by the time you’ve removed all the nests from your property, the bugs would probably have already started to construct a new home.
Whenever you are dealing with green ants and other species, be extremely careful about the products and pesticides that you choose. A lot of them contain dangerous substances such as kerosene, borax, chlorine, and petrol.
They might be effective in killing the ants, but all the green life in your garden, the soil, and underground water sources will suffer along with the insects
So if you don’t want to risk the health of your garden and ensure that the problem is completely dealt with, you can always trust the professionals of Fantastic Services to take care of this troublesome situation. The certified technicians that will be sent out to your property, will analyze the state and level of the infestation before treating it in the safest, most efficient way possible. Upon leaving you will receive not only a full report of the treatment but also a list of preventive measures that you can take to prevent this from happening again.
See more information about how we can help you with your green ant infestation in our main site.See
Green ant description
These pests can be mostly found in forest regions across the northern parts of Australia, Gladstone in Queensland, and around the Kimberly region in western parts of the country. Because of the way that they make their nests and where they locate them, green ants are not really fond of highlands and they are rarely seen in such places.
When talking about their size, green ants are not a big species, in length, they vary between 5 and 7mm. Colourwise, their bodies have a very distinctive, dark metallic complexion that can vary from a green-blue tone to a more green-purple one. The shade of the insects depends on the region they are living in.
The behaviour of the green ant
Their metallic sheen often leaves these ants unnoticed until it’s already too late. Green ants are considered as fierce predators. They are extremely protective of their nests and quite aggressive, attacking their victim in swarms.
Green ants usually hunt for oils and proteins, but they also collect honeydew from many sap-sucking insects, such as aphids.
How to recognise and treat bites from a green ant
As we mentioned briefly before, green ants have a poisonous sting that can be quite dangerous. However, they don’t actually have a stinger. Green ants bite the victim with their jaws after which they spurt a burning fluid onto the wound from the tip of their abdomen. If you’ve been bitten before and had a serious reaction, immediately go to the hospital for proper medical assistance.
In case this is your first green ant bite, we’ve compiled a list of the most common symptoms to look out for after a bug attack:
- A minor redness of the area;
- Annoying pain.
Allergic reactions might include the following:
- Swelling of the tongue and throat;
- A rash around the area; Swelling in zones around the bite.
- Wear protective gear when dealing with green ants to avoid their dangerous bites.
- Coordinate the treatment with your neighbours in order to eradicate the green ants entirely.
- Carefully choose the pesticides you will be using and always read the label.
- If you want to make sure that the problem is fully dealt with call a professional. They will make sure that there is no collateral damage to your garden and you will be safely away from the green ants while they are getting killed.
Image source: Shutterstock/Rav Kark