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Black ants can be found in or around all Adelaide homes and businesses. They are the most common pest that we come across.
Typically, they will be outside feasting on termites and insects. They have an important role in the environment clearing away the dead.
It is just unfortunate when food is scarce that they will venture inside people’s homes to see what is on offer.
Just as we are surprised when we discover them, they are surprised at to how much food they can find in your home.
Do black ants eat termites?
Your grandmother probably said that if you have black ants, then you don’t have white ants.
The reason they believed this is that if you break open a termite mud trail, ants will often swarm into the workings.
The ants will attack individual termites and paralyse them with venom from their bite.
Interestingly, they will only attack termites from the rear. If they attack from the front, a termite’s jaws can crush them.
Most people think that black ants will be able to wipe out termite colonies. This is however incorrect as a termite colony can number four to five hundred thousand.
An ant colony is simply too small to have the capability of eliminating them all.
So, when you are thinking about termite and black ant relationships, just think of ants as farmers.
They will harvest a handful of termites daily when they find them.
Termite defence systems
Termites when under attack from ants have some interesting defence systems.
The first defence system is a harden mud shell that protects the termites inside. You will often see ants swarming over these shells trying to find a way in.
Termites constantly maintain these barriers and any cracks of breaks are quickly filled.
If a break of crack appears, soldier termites will swarm to the area. They will even tap their heads, which makes a knocking noise, to alert other soldiers. This noise can be hear by the human ear.
The soldier termites will then stick their heads out of the hole or crack. This makes it very difficult for black ants to attack as the termite heads are impenetrable.
While the soldiers have their heads filling up the hole, workers will come from behind and start repairing the damage. Unfortunately for soldiers the repair work will also involve their sacrifice, and many will become part of the new barrier.
Ants move to higher ground when it rains
Just as we shelter from rain, black ants will often seek higher ground when it rains. A nest which has a vertical entrance point on the ground is not a great idea when it rains.
If it is only light rain, they will often just build a mould around the entrance point. However, if they predict it is going to be a downpour, they will move the whole colony in preparation.
This is often when Jim’s Pest Control Adelaide is called. People arrive home to find masses of ants wandering around their home.
At this point they can be difficult to treat as their priorities are based around survival.