Ant Control: An Integrated Approach
Ants are the number 1 nuisance pest for call backs. Each species has its own behavioural characteristics, preferred nesting sites and food preferences, making ants a significant challenge to control. The following provides general tips on ant control, using an integrated approach.
What to look for:
- Look for ant trails, ant nests and conditions conducive to ant infestation (think food, water and shelter sources). Pay attention to foraging paths where ants like to travel, such as expansion joints, along foundation walls and along cupboards indoors. Most ants travel in straight lines and follow structural edges and guidelines.
How to control:
- Utilize an integrated approach to controlling ants. Reduce resource availability where possible. Ants love honeydew produced by aphids, mealybugs and scales feeding on ornamentals in the perimeter zone. Make your customer aware of this attractive food source so that they can keep plant material from touching the foundation and possibly select plants that are less attractive to the “honeydew crew.” Mulch holds moisture, so limiting the amount of mulch around beds to less than three inches can also help reduce ant problems. Clean up leaf debris around the home and in gutters to reduce moisture sources that may be attracting ants and other perimeter pests.
- Locate and seal up ant access points into buildings. Trim any overhanging trees and shrubs so that branches are not touching buildings and allowing easy access for foraging ants.
- Since the majority of ant problems originate outdoors, limiting access (mechanical and cultural practices) and keeping ants outside where they are generally not a problem is an important part of an integrated approach to controlling ants.
- It is important to correctly identify the species you are dealing with. Correct ant identification will help you to determine where the colony may be located, the preferred food source and the type of control strategies and product selection to implement.
- Target your service to focus on the queens and brood. Queens are the reproductive engine and the brood are the “food processors” in ant colonies. Take time to inspect and locate ant nests. Remember that only a small percentage of workers are outside the nest at one time.
- Consider all available formulations in a “combined arms” approach for effective ant management that includes baits, liquid residuals and dusts when needed.
When choosing an ant bait, consider both formulation and active ingredient.
Maxforce® Quantum ant bait is a long-lasting, broad-spectrum ant bait for sweet feeding ants; it can be used indoors and outdoors. Quantum contains imidacloprid and was designed to specifically target the queen(s) and brood. Its ability to successfully transfer to the queen, brood and worker ants allows it to outperform other liquid baits. And unlike other liquid and gel baits, Quantum stays moist for months, helping to reduce call backs and the need to regularly re-apply.
When using a liquid residual product for your perimeter treatments, consider Temprid™ SC. Temprid SC is a dual active ingredient product that offers extended residual control. Temprid SC has been shown to reduce call backs by over 60 per cent. Temprid SC can be applied on the exterior and interior of structures, and also is labelled as foam or mist application in voids. (See label for complete details)
Dusts formulations may also have advantages in some instances. Labelled dusts may be useful to treat wall voids that may be harbouring ants. Drione® can be applied in voids and is an example of a dust that offers quick knockdown and long residual control against ants and other perimeter pests.
Remember to apply according to label directions to ensure only a fine film of dust is deposited. Too much dust will repel insects. Always follow all label directions regardless of the formulation or product that you include in your ant control strategy. Always evaluate control efforts and be prepared to make adjustments where necessary.
ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Maxforce® Quantum, Temprid™ SC, Drione®, Bayer and the Bayer Cross are trademarks of Bayer Group. Used under license. Bayer CropScience Inc. is a member of CropLife Canada. ©2022 Bayer Group.