Killem Pest Profile: Ants In Singapore

ants in singapore

There are over 130 species of ants in Singapore as of 2018, with many coming from other regions of the planet due to increased trade.

Ants are social insects that form colonies that range in size from a couple of dozen to over a million individual members. Most ant colonies possess a hierarchical structure where every individual possesses a job. It’s not uncommon for these pests to be divided between the queen, soldiers, and drones. Ants are true insects with three body segments: the head, abdomen, and thorax. They also possess six legs and identifiable antennae on their heads.

Ants are well-known for their division of labour and ability to solve complex problems.

When they enter a property, it can be hard for the owners to kill them.

Many species of these pests leave hormone trails so ants know where to go to find food. They can also identify unsafe spaces based on where the trails end. The older, more experienced drones will also train their younger counterparts how to find food and will lead them to resources through a process called tandem running.

In Singapore, it’s not uncommon to suffer an ant infestation due to the climate and the number of species that frequently plague urban areas.

Learn more about pest control in Singapore

The 6 Most Common Types of Ants in Singapore

The four types of ants which homeowners in Singapore need to worry about are the ghost, pharaoh, carpenter, and crazy varieties. All of these pests will enter properties in search of food and resources. They might also find buildings attractive because they provide shelter from cooler weather and natural predators.

When dealing with an infestation, people are most likely to encounter a colony of ghost ants.

Close Up Of Ants

1. Ghost Ants

Ghost ants are also called sugar ants and favour moist environments. They are commonly found in kitchens in places like under the sink, in cabinets, or behind appliances like the refrigerator. This type favours sweet and sugary foods which possess the carbohydrates ghost ants to need for their colonies and survival. Ghost ants are roughly 1.3 to 1.5 mm. long and are characterized by their dark heads and translucent bodies.

2. Pharaoh Ants

Pharaoh ants are difficult for property owners to handle. These pests do not react well to pesticides. When sprayed, the ants will break up their colony and scatter to new locations, making them difficult to eliminate. Pharaoh ants will also bite when they feel threatened. They are 2 mm. long and feature queens who can live between 4 and 12 years. Each ant is recognizable because of its distinctive golden or yellow-brown colour. They are nocturnal and like to eat oily or protein-rich food and will live anywhere that they can form a colony.

The Ultimate Guide to Ant Prevention, Treatment and Control in Singapore

Visit Guide
common types of ants in singapore

3. Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants derived their name from their habit of living in wooden structures and trees. They do not eat wood but will carve out an area for a colony with their mouths. Because of this trait, they are frequently mistaken for termites. Carpenter ants can be large, measuring up to 15 or 17 mm. in size. They are typically black and reddish-brown and enjoy eating honeydew and dead insects. Because they are attracted to moisture, people will find them in bathrooms, kitchens, and other frequently damp areas.

singapore ant species

4. Crazy Ants

Finally, there are crazy ants. Crazy ants have long legs and are typically black or dark red in color. Their name comes from one of their defensive techniques. When the colony is disturbed, they will scatter in all directions, making them difficult to kill. They can be 2 to 3 mm. in length and have long legs and antennae which give them a distinctive appearance. Crazy ants feed on all types of food but prefer sugary materials, so they will frequently live in the same region as ghost ants.

5. Fire Ants

Fire Ants are aggressive small ants, around 2 to 6 millimeters in length, with reddish-brown to reddish-black bodies. They have painful and venomous sting. The venom from fire ants bite can cause discomfort, redness, itching and even allergic reaction. Fire ants establish their nests in soil and can often be met in lawns, parks, and similar areas. These ants are highly protective of their territory and will aggressively defend their nests. Because of their aggressive behavior fire ants are considered a pest.

One of the most fascinating facts about fire ants is their social structure, which is built around a queen. The size of fire ants queen can be up to 28mm in length, it is the largest ant in the colony and is responsible for laying eggs. A mature fire ant colony can contain hundreds of thousands of worker ants, depending on its age and size. These workers are responsible for maintaining the nest and protecting their queen.

To tackle a fire ants problem, you must first understand their habitat and behavior. Identifying their nesting sites and taking necessary precautions can help mitigate their presence. Additionally, some natural predators, such as parasitic flies, can help control fire ants populations.

common ant species in singapore

6. Weaver Ants

Weaver ants are bright coloured ants with slender bodies, typically around 4-10 millimiters in length. They usually reside in trees or shrubs, providing protection for certain plants in exchange for sugary food. Weaver ants are not considered pests as they play an important role in pest control and flower pollination. However, their aggressive behaviour can cause discomfort: weaver ants are highly territorials and can bite when defending their nests.

Ants In A Bowl

Signs of an Ant Infestation and Prevention Methods

It can be difficult to tell if ants are on a property. The easiest ways to tell are to locate an ant nest near your home, usually made of dirt, or to see a live ant as it searches for food.

Pro Tip: The best method of handling ants is to prevent an infestation before it begins.

Because they are attracted to buildings because of food, it’s important to clean up spills, crumbs, and messes.

All food packages should be kept sealed and excessive moisture should be wiped up. It’s also crucial to ensure that ants do not have a way of entering a building. Sealing cracks around doorways, windows, and walls can close off potential entryways and keep buildings safe from this pervasive pest.

How do I Get Rid of Ants?

  • Seal all possible entry points
  • Clean and make sure there are no bread crumbs!
  • Regularly dispose of the trash
  • Call a pest control company

Frequently Asked Questions

According to research by the international team, there are 409 species of ants in Singapore, 34 of which are specific to Singapore only.

Common types of ants in Singapore include ghost, pharaoh, carpenter, and crazy ants. Pharaoh ants are considered the most dangerous as they carry and transmit serious diseases to people.

Ants love the warm and humid weather, so it is very common to find ants in Singapore (outside and inside the houses).