Bull Ants – How to Get Rid of Them and What You Need to Know

How to get rid of bullet ants

The bull ants or Myrmecia Gulosa as their scientific name is are a species of very aggressive, large insects mainly found in Australia. Commonly called jumper ants, they’re a pain to deal with.

Getting rid of bull ants, and destroying their nests is hard and dangerous, as their stings are venomous and can have a lethal effect on humans if numerous stings occur. That’s why whenever you’re dealing with these pests is a good idea to call a professional to destroy the colony and their nest.

How to Get Rid of Bull Ants

Destroying a bull ant nest can be done in a couple different ways, all of which are somewhat effective. Let’s see how to get rid of the bull ants on your property if you decide to do it by yourself:

  1. Locate the bull ant nest. The Myrmecia gulosa 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 big 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 you. If there are enough stings, there is a threat to your life. That’s why we suggest you contact a certified pest controller.
  3. Consider your mean of pest control. 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 this pest 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.

Bull ants 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.

Bull ants extermination methods

We’ve seen numerous methods online on how to deal with bull ants on your own. While all work to some extent, jumping jack ants are notoriously hard to exterminate, that’s why you should consider hiring a pest technician to deal with them.

Here are some DIY methods you can try to get rid of bull ants and their nest. 

  • Use boric acid to get rid of 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. While you can see some results with boric acid baits, they’re usually short term and you will notice the colony of jumping jack ants return in a couple of weeks.
  • Pour boiling water down the bulldog ants nest
    We get the idea behind pouring boiling water into the nest of the bull ants, but it can result in you causing a nasty burn on yourself rather than boiling the whole nest alive. Myrmecia builds their nests deep underground, and there’s a big chance of not drowning all of them. While you will see immediate results, they won’t last for more than a week, as the ants that survived will rebuild the nest and you will have to deal with them again.
  • (DO NOT) Pour oil down the nest and set it on fire
    We couldn’t believe we found this as an actionable tip on getting rid of bull ants. The pest controllers in us cringed, and we are afraid that someone would try setting the ant nest on fire. 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.
    Don’t, under any circumstances use fire as a pest control method, unless you want to end up on one of our pest control fails articles.
  • 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 would hopefully kill the queen. 


Consider booking professional pest controllers to help you get rid of the bull ants on your property and save yourself a headache!


Appearance of the bull ant

Bullet ants upclose.

  • Size: 8mm to 40mm
  • Mandibles: Big, strong and elongated
  • Colour: Black with some red colour on the abdomen
  • Also known as: hopper ants, giant bull ants, red bull ants, bulldog ants

Bull ants are a big species of ants that sports strong and elongated mandibles. Also referred to as hopper ants, these ants can grom up to 40mm in length, making them giants in the ant world. Bulldog ants are black with some red shades on their abdomen.

Distribution and habitat of bull ants

Found mainly in Australia, bull ant colonies consist of three types of ants: female workers (sterile), fertile females and winged fertile males.

Each type of ant has its place in the nest with sterile female worker ants hunting on the ground. Fertile winged females fly off from the nest to create their own nest and winged males fly off to search for queens to mate with before they die.

Behaviour of the bull ant

Bull ants are among the smartest ants in the world. They are very aggressive, especially if they feel their habitat is threatened. Bulldog ants can sting multiple times. They use their mandibles both for hunting and protection.

Bulldog ants attack their prey from the back and unlike other ants, they work individually. These ants communicate with each other by touch and smell, something that isn’t seen in any other ant species in the world. Female ants are workers, while males are soldiers that guard the nest.

Some of the bull ants show jumping behaviour, and they can jump more than five centimetres.

The bulldog ant sting

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

Anaphylactic shock is the extreme reaction of the human body to an antigen.

Still not sure how to deal with bull ants?


For questions about the services we offer visit our main site or our pest library.

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