Coastal Brown Ants - Pheidole megacephala - are another very common ant species in the Cairns region, this invasive ant is quite often found nesting behind/under skirting boards in homes, leading to many calls from customers suspecting they have Termites.
There are two distinct types of ants in this species with one having a large head 'Major' or 'Soldier Ants' and the other the 'Minor' or 'Worker Ants'
The Soldiers are roughly 4 mm in length and about double the size of the Workers. The colour of this varies from yellowish-brown or reddish-brown to nearly black.
Coastal Brown Ants generally nest in colonies underground, particularly up against slab edges, below pavers and stored items around your home, and in many cases pot plants. The reason these ants are commonly mistaken for Subterranean Termites is because they can form mud tracks/shelter tubes similar to Termites. It is quite easy to distinguish between the two by touching or blowing on the mud track and if it's Coastal Brown Ants the track will collapse with ease, however if they're termites the mud track will be quite tough and quite a bit of pressure will need to be applied for the track to break.
The Coastal Brown Ant does not sting or bite generally unless the nest is disturbed and even then the bite is not painful.
The biggest nuisance with this ant is the fact that it leaves dirt piles in and around your homes, and ants foraging in your kitchens, bathrooms and around your skirting boards.
The most effective way to eliminate this ant is to use a combination of spray treatments and baits in which they take back to the nest, feed the rest of the colony and then die off after several days.
Watch this video below for more information on Coastal Brown Ants.
If you're having issues with Coastal Brown Ants, feel free to contact Pest Off Solutions to discuss a treatment plan to rid your property of this invasive ant pest.
If you'd like some tips and info on how to help prevent ant infestations in your home, click on the link below.