In Australia there are about 3,000 species of ants. The colony sizes vary greatly and are mostly found in soil, wood, and among rocks. They are commonly found in wall cavities, roof voids, kitchens, lawns, and in trees.
Ants undergo a complete metamorphosis during their development. Eggs are mostly small and oval in shape. The larva that hatches out is a whitish grub that is narrower towards the head. The larvae are fed by the adults and after sufficient feeding and after\several moults, the larvae pupates. The pupa is similar in shape to the adult but is usually soft, creamy-white and inactive. Eventually the adult emerges, and a few hours or sometimes days may be require for the process of cuticle hardening and darkening.
Why ants are considered a pest
Ants tend to leave mounds of soil where their nest entry point are which can look unsightly. These can be along skirting boards, in wet areas such as bathrooms or kitchens, along garden paths, or on architrave bases.
As well as general nuisance aspects, ants may present a health risk. There are known instances of ants mechanically carrying, on their bodies or in their digestive tract, disease organisms causing dysentery, smallpox and a variety of pathogenic bacteria, including Salmonella. As ants commonly scavenge in kitchens and other food handling areas, as well as in garbage cans, dog excrement and other possible sources of disease organisms, their potential for transmitting diseases to humans should not be over looked.
In addition to the health threat posed and nuisance aspects, some ants may bite or sting humans and I have even been to a situation where ants had infested almost all electrical sources in the house including printers, monitors, microwave, clocks, light sources, and power points. This has caused thousands of dollars in damage and has the ability of the more serious risk of an electrical fire hazard.