Ants are the number one urban pest in the United States. Ants are very different then most of the other insects and rodents that our preventative maintenance service can usually easily manage. Ant colonies can number in the thousands to millions of individuals. A number of different colonies may be around a home or business at the same time.
Ants in your house can be coming from a colony nesting in a neighbor’s house. They are able to travel long distances from the colony to get food. Because only three to seven percent of the colony is usually out foraging at a given time, killing the ants seen in a home at a given time probably won’t solve the problem.
Baiting for ants is the ideal control method (except carpenter ants and flying ants) because they are a social insect. The foraging workers return with the bait and feed the other colony members. The biggest challenge is finding the right bait due to the ants finicky and quickly changing appetite. Depending on the current needs of the colony, they may want sugars, protein, or fats. Carpenter ants have the fussiest appetite and getting bait acceptance is not that practical.
Unlike foraging workers, flying ants are reproductive’s and not interested in food. Unless the colony can be located and directly treated, which is usually not possible, they will continue to emerge until they have all left the colony for their nuptial flight. Due to the temporary nature of this problem, periodic vacuuming of the flying ants is advised.
Regardless of the best skills, methods and materials utilized, ant management can take from several weeks to several months. Ant bait and insecticides don’t mix and the customer should avoid using insecticide anywhere in the vicinity of the baits. Baits can absorb odors and things like cigarette smoke, air fresheners, perfumes and colognes are repellent to the ants causing them to avoid it. Cleaning up ant attracting foods like sugary spills and pet food will eliminate competing food sources that can also delay getting results.
- Ant numbers are a significant factor
- Bait acceptance is a process that takes time
- Help eliminate conditions that can attract ants