Pest Issues

How to Safely Get Rid of Bull Ants

Ken Griffiths /

Also known as bulldog or jumper ants, this specific type of ants from the Myrmecia genus are known to be quite aggressive and, therefore, dangerous. They are big in size and commonly spotted around the coastal parts of Australia.

Getting rid of bull ants and destroying their nests can be a hard and risky business, as their stings are venomous and could cause Anaphylactic shock. They can even be lethal, in case of numerous stings. Therefore, whenever you’re dealing with these insects, it’s best to be extra cautious and know as much about them as possible.

Table of Contents:

How to get rid of the bull ants

Destroying a bull ant nest can be done in a couple of different ways, all of which are somewhat effective. Let’s see how you should proceed if you decide to fix the problem on your own:

1. Locate the bull ant nest

The nest is most often located in soil; however, it can be located in rotten wood and under rocks as well. Nests are simple at first but grow in size as the colony expands. This makes them hard to notice at the beginning of the infestation. Big bull ant nests are large mounds of dirt with entry openings at the top.

2. Observe the nest from a distance

If the bulldog ants feel their habitat is threatened, they will attack and sting for sure. And you definitely don’t want that since multiple stings can be life-threatening. As mentioned before, you need to pick your extermination method well, which leads us to the next important step.

3. Find the best bull ant extermination methods

Choosing the proper pest control method to destroy the bulldog ant colony and their nest is of utmost importance in order to get rid of them efficiently. Use baits that are specifically made for bull ants. Unlike sprays, baits are preferred for DIY pest control, as the worker ants will eat them and bring them to the queen. This ensures you don’t get in immediate proximity to the nest.

DIY pest control methods

To make things easier for you, we have listed some DIY pest control methods you can try to get rid of bull ants. You will also find info on what to expect and tips on what to avoid for your safety. Here we go!

  • Mix borax and sugar to kill bull ants – This may be the most harmless pest control method on this list. The one that is less harmful to you, at least. Mix borax with sugar and place the bait in shallow containers near ant trails. The sugar will attract the ants and the borax will kill them. Don’t squash all the ants you see, it’s important that the worker ants bring some of the borax and sugar bait to the nest. This will, hopefully, kill the queen.
  • Use boric acid to eliminate bull ants – A lot of nuisance ants die when boric acid baits are used; however, they’re usually a lot smaller in size than bulldog ants. Still, it is worth the try. Keep in mind, though, that while you can see some results when boric acid baits are used, there is still the possibility that the colony of jumping jack ants may return in a couple of weeks.
  • Pour boiling water down the bulldog ants nest – Pouring boiling water into the nest can be somewhat effective, but there is some risk involved here. It is possible to get yourself a nasty burn while trying to boil the whole nest alive. Myrmecia build their nests deep underground, so there’s a big chance of only drowning some of them. While you will see immediate results, they may not last, as any surviving ants will probably try to rebuild the nest.
DO NOT pour oil down the nest and set it on fire. While this is often recommended as a way of eliminating a bull ant infestation, we advise you not to follow it. Setting the bull ant nest on fire is no way to deal with them. You can cause a fire that can grow to uncontrollable sizes, and instead of calling a professional pest controller to deal with them, you may have to call the fire brigade.

Save yourself the headache of dealing with bull ants!

Contact professional pest controllers who can safely destroy the colony and the bull ants’ nest.

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How to recognise a bull ant

Here are a few details you can look for in order to tell a bull ant apart:

Bull Ant


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  • Bull ants are normally black with red/orange shades on the upper or lower parts of the body.
  • These ants can grow up to 40mm in length, making them giants in the ant world.
  • Their mandibles or jaws are prolonged and quite strong.

There are both winged and wingless bull ants, as every type has its place in the colony. Normally, the wings help with mating and creating new colonies.

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Behaviour and nesting habits

This ant species is known to be quite smart. Bulldog ants attack their prey from the back and, unlike other ants, they work individually. Some of them can even jump, if necessary. Bulldog ants use smells, as well as touch to speak to each other. Female ants are workers, while males are soldiers that guard the nest.

Bull ant nests are usually located underground in the soil. Myrmecia gulosa nests can be found in debris, in your backyard, and even beneath your house. A single bull ant queen can build 14 different colonies, which allows the nest to expand deep underground, making it even harder for you to get rid of the ants completely.

The bigger the bull ant colony, the bigger the outside mound of dirt will be, however, keep in mind that the nest will be much deeper underground.

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The danger of a bulldog ant sting

The bull ant sting is dangerous to humans as it can cause an anaphylactic reaction. As these ants can sting multiple times, a severe attack can lead to death, as anaphylactic shock can be lethal.


  • Bull ants are hard to miss, as they are bigger in size in comparison to other types of ants.
  • These ants prefer the coastal areas of Australia.
  • A sting of a bulldog ant is poisonous, causing reactions like Anaphylactic shock, which can lead to serious complications.
  • You need to be very careful when dealing with a bulldog ants’ infestation. Get help right away if DIY methods don’t prove effective or you don’t feel like taking the risk of facing them alone.

Still not sure how to deal with bull ants?

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2 years ago

I’ve got a bull-ant nest close to my house in Kalgoorlie, so they may no longer be restricted to coastal areas.
It could be that they/queen has hitch hiked inland.
I plan to alert the council as it would be good to stop an invasion if possible.

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