Professor Pest's Best Ant Control Guide
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The Truth About Ants...
With an estimated 14,000 different species of ants world-wide, ants have emerged as the number one household pest across America. Right now, there are approximately 1 million billion ants working diligently across the globe. While many species of ants serve beneficial purposes in the environment, some can prove invasive, bothersome, and at times dangerous.
When searching for the best ant control solution for your particular ant problem, it is important to consider several factors. Although most ant control products on the market work to a certain extent, not all products work equally well for all ant species or in all environmental conditions. To maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of your pest control applications, we encourage you to utilize the resources available through our site to help guide you through the ant control product selection and application process.
The Best Ant Gel Bait Products...
Pest Control Everything has put together our list of Top 5 Ant Gel Bait Products that should be a mainstay in every pest controller's arsenal. Our ratings are based on personal professional experience using these products on hundreds or thousands of properties. This particular list is based on our assessment of the overall practicability of the bait across a wide range of uses. Specific ant infestations may be better approached using alternative or additional ant control products not included on this list.
Professor Pest Suggests:
Before purchasing any ant gel bait product, start by determining what species of ant you're dealing with. If you're not certain, consider consulting a local pest professional for proper identification. Purchase a bait that is specifically labeled for the species you've got. Not all ant gel baits are equally effective against all species of ants.
And remember...there is (virtually) no preventive quality to ant baiting. Baits only and exclusively work in the presence of ants. If the objective is to keep ants out of a given environment (as opposed to removing them from it), better treatment alternatives exist.
Does The Active Ingredient Matter?
The Active Ingredient (AI) of an ant gel bait is the key ingredient that actually does the killing. Each registered ant gel bait product has the active ingredient listed on its packaging. By understanding an active ingredient's mode of action we can better understand how best to utilize a given product to achieve desired results. Some ant gel baits have the same active ingredient but in different concentrations, which is an important comparative consideration. In a recent article, Professor Pest provide a comprehensive Professional Ant Gel Bait Active Ingredient Comparison.
How and Where to Apply Ant Gel Baits...
Perhaps equally as important as choosing the appropriate ant gel bait for your particular situation is applying the bait in optimal manners, locations, and quantities. Unfortunately there is no cookie-cutter approach to this, as each gel bait has its own application nuances and each ant species has its own unique feeding tendencies. By example, Advion Ant Gel Bait is typically best applied in narrow strips, Optigard as pin placements, and Maxforce Quantum as droplets. Each product's label instructions will help guide you through that part of the application process.
Where you make your gel bait applications will prove critically important to if (and how expeditiously) your ant problem gets resolved. Keep this in mind: the ants inside your home are coming (or at least came) from the outside. Yes, in some instances ants can establish self-sufficient colonies or satellite colonies entirely indoors, but this is the exception rather than the rule. In many instances, ants have established nesting sites in the most suitable interior locations nearest the outside...often around window casings, doors, and utility penetrations. The closer you can get your bait applications to these nest or entry sites the more vigorous the feeding on the bait is likely to be. And the more aggressive the feeding, the quicker the remedy.
An all-too common mistake made by many do-it-yourselfers and pest professionals alike is making heavy bait applications to interior portions of the home such as on kitchen countertops. Although this can work as a complement to additional treatment strategies, baiting only in these areas has a high likelihood of perpetuating the infestation over an extended period of time.
Why NOT to Spray For Most Ants...
It may or may not surprise you that a relatively high percentage of people who end up using a professional exterminator for ant problems started by spraying for ants themselves. It's probably just one of those things that makes us human. We discover an ant problem, we run to Home Depot and pick up a bottle of Ortho Home Defense Insect Spray, and we come home and start spraying all over the place. We see a lot of dead ants and assume the problem has been resolved.
Invariably, after a few days or a few weeks or a few months, the ants "return" in seemingly larger numbers than before. And we wonder...what in tarnation just happened?
Well, a few things. Ortho Home Defense is a repellent insecticide, which kills on contact and is designed to deter or repel ants from the treated area. Which is precisely what it did in this instance. It killed the ants treated, and kept the ants out of the area for a period of time. After a while, the residual of the spray wore off, and the ants began to re-emerge. But what happened during the interim?
Ants, like some other social insects, communicate via pheromones. When certain members of an ant colony get sprayed with a contact insecticide or repellent, they respond with an alarm pheromone, signaling to other members of the colony that danger is at hand. With some species, this alarm pheromone triggers an increase in reproduction in the interest of preserving the livelihood of the ant colony. So the net result of killing a handful of ants with a contact insecticide is often an eventual ant population far greater than what it was before.
When is Spraying For Ants A Good Idea?
When you know what you're doing. Haphazardly spraying for ants without a general understanding of how different ants species respond to different types of products is almost certain to cause frustration, wasted time, and unnecessary expenditures of money. But spraying for ants isn't necessarily an inadvisable approach, if you know how to go about it.
Repellent sprays can be highly effective in eliminating newly introduced, under-established ant populations or in preventing populations from working their way into a given environment. They can be an excellent option for preventive pest control measures. For established ant populations, non-repellent sprays may be a better alternative, as they act somewhat similarly to baits except that the need not be ingested to function properly.
When To Use Dusts For Ant Control...
The short answer is never. But because that doesn't make for a very good read, let's explore this a bit further. The reality is that insecticide dust is seldom the best option for ant control. In isolated instances, however, insecticide dust may be among the best options for elimination of an ant colony.
Dusts work exceptionally well in confined spaces such as inside wall cavities. Some species of ants, such as Carpenter Ants or Big Headed Ants, love to nest inside these cavities. In the event you've been able to identify and isolate the specific location of the nest inside one such cavity, injecting dust might provide for an immediate resolution. However...it is critical that the entire population is knocked out if you attempt this approach. If you end up dusting only the periphery of the population, you are likely to do more harm than good and cause large numbers of ants to begin to scatter.
What About Granular Ant Baits...
Ant bait granules are absolutely terrific for many species of ants, particularly most larger-bodied species. Carpenter Ants, Red Imported Fire Ants, Big Headed Ants, Argentine Ants, and many others all respond favorably to various granular baits. Whereas most gel baits are sugar-based, most granular baits are protein-based. So the best baiting approach often incorporates both gel baits and granular baits in targeted areas. Be sure to check the product labels to determine which granular baits are effective for your particular ant species. Ants such as Ghost Ants, Pharaoh Ants, and White Footed Ants may not be impacted at all by most granular bait products.
Are Bait Granules The Same As Insecticide Granules?
Thank you for asking, as this is an important distinction. Granular baits function by ingestion and transfer. Granular insecticides act as repellent contact insecticides. When dealing with ants, opt for granular baits whenever possible.
Not The Do-It-Yourself Type? Find a Pest Pro Now...
Handling your own pest control treatments isn't right for everybody, and there is no shame in hiring a professional. Those that do typically find themselves enjoying a pest-free environment faster and longer with less hassle and aggravation. Submit the form below to receive a FREE, no obligation pest control quotes from licensed professionals in your area.