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The green-head ant (Rhytidoponera Metallica), or just green ant, is one of the most commonly seen ant species in Australia and New Zealand. The only place where they haven’t been established (for now) is Tasmania. Green ants can be extremely dangerous because of their poisonous sting, which can 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.

This article 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.

In this article:

How to recognise green ants

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Green-head ants aren’t big species, and in length, they range between 5 and 7mm. They have a distinctive, dark metallic complexion that varies from a green-blue tone to a more green-purple one. The shade of the insects depends on the region they are living in.

Green-head ants can be primarily found in forest regions across the northern parts of Australia, Gladstone in Queensland, and around the Kimberly region in the western parts of the country. Because of how they make their nests and where they locate them, green ants are not fond of highlands and are rarely seen in such places.

Not to be confused with the green tree ants (Oecophylla smaragdina), which some residents of Queensland call “green ants”.

Green ants are considered fierce predators. They are incredibly protective of their nests and quite aggressive, attacking their victim in swarms. Their metallic sheen often camouflages them well until it’s already too late.

Green ants usually hunt for oils and proteins, but they also collect honeydew from many sap-sucking insects, such as aphids.

Read also: The Ant Species of Australia

Green-head ant bite and symptoms

Green ants have a painful and venomous bite. It can be quite dangerous and cause anaphylactic shock in some people. The most sensible thing after a bite is to go to the hospital for proper medical assistance immediately. You can use an ice pack to reduce the immediate swelling and redness.

Common symptoms after a bite might include:

  • A minor redness of the area;
  • Itchiness;
  • 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.
Read also: What Bit You? Australian Insect Bites Identification

How to get rid of green ants

Like any other pest infestation, the type of treatment you choose to get rid of green ants should be determined by the size of the colony and the seriousness of the infestation.

Get your protective gear on – gloves, long pants and sleeves, closed shoes, and let’s get to business.

Find the nest

It’s best to find the nest first. Green-head 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 building. Some colonies are capable of making a larger nest in less than a day.

Destroying the nest manually

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.

warning

This method is recommended only if the colony is in its early stages of development.

Granular ant bait

You can find granular ant bait over-the-counter. Usually, when you put the bait, ants won’t eat it immediately. They will share it with the rest of the colony, spreading the insecticide to places where you can’t reach. With time you will notice that the nest activity is getting lower, which means that the bait worked.

Ant control spray

After that, you should use an ant control spray 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.

Remember, though, that this technique will only affect the ants’ nests in your lawn, but it will not keep the ones coming from the outside from invading your home. There is always the chance that your neighbours’ lawn is also infested, 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 complete treatment that includes granular insecticides or a non-repellent spray is considered the most effective and long-lasting.

Check also: Black House Ants – How to Get Rid of Them

Destroying the nest with other insecticides

Whenever you are dealing with green ants, be extremely careful about the products and pesticides 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.

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Professional ant removal

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 turn to professional pest controllers for ant removal. The technicians that come to your property will analyse the state and level of the infestation and then treat it in the safest, most efficient way possible. Upon leaving, you will receive a full report of the treatment and a list of preventive measures that you can take to prevent this from happening again.

Takeaways

  • Know what species you’re dealing with;
  • Wear protective gear when dealing with green ants to avoid their dangerous bites;
  • Carefully choose the pesticides you will be using and always read the label;
  • Coordinate the treatment with your neighbours to eradicate the green ants;
  • 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.

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  • Last update: November 16, 2021

Posted in All Articles, Pest Issues