Think about this for a moment… you go into your kitchen to clean the dishes after dinner. As you’re moving utensils and dishes around you find swarms of ants over everything! They get on your hands and are crawling all around. You rush to the closet to grab the store brand ant-be-gone and heavily spray the counter and sink until there is nothing left moving. You walk away feeling like a hero, but the ants come back every day or week and the same thing happens again and again. What could be causing the reoccurring invasion of these devil bugs? And more importantly, how do you get rid of ants?
Homeowners dealing with ant issues within the home often do more harm to the problem than solving it. When home products or pesticides are improperly applied it can cause disruption in the service, a splitting of the ant colony and an overall increase in activity. Prebaiting, however, is an effective practice that aids in the success of the pest control treatment by taking advantage of the social behavior, pheromone trails, and feeding practices of ants.
The key to getting rid of ants using non-repellent products. Ants are sensitive to pesticides and will quickly break up and move their colonies. For this reason, ants need time to feed on the bait and recruit other ants to the food source. They also need to bring the product back to the colony before the carrier ants die. This can be frustrating to homeowners who want immediate results, however, treating the colony is the most effective way to remove the reoccurring problem. When treating in this manner prebaiting can optimize the process because it locates prime feeding sites and pheromone trails.
Prebaiting has better success with the help of homeowners because homeowners can prepare their house for our pest control technicians. Prebaiting helps the technician know exactly what the ants are eating and what they are attracted to. It pinpoints sites of the greatest activity and locates trails back to the colony. For prebaiting place non-toxic food baits on strips of masking tape or in ¾ inch sections of plastic straws. Try several types of food bait to see what attracts the pests the most. Two excellent sources are mint apple jelly (carb) and peanut butter (protein). When the technicians arrive, they can assess the situation and place the gel application directly on trails when possible.
Ants aren’t just attracted to kitchens and food storage areas, they will go where there’s food, water, or heat. Common areas ants would be found are kitchens, bathrooms, and near water heaters. Homeowners can place their prebait in these locations. Keep in mind, while placing bait, homeowners need to be aware of competitive food sources. Placing prebait stations near other sources of food can distract the ants and make prebaiting less effective. Most bait is food based and will expire with time; consequently, it’s good practice to replenish or replace aging stations.
The goal of prebaiting is for the gel or liquid product to reach the colony. Treating the colony provides quick results for lasting control. Finding the colony is the difficult part. With over 14,000 species of ants that have their own social system, colonies can take several forms. Odorous house ants, or sugar ants, will form new colonies if the wrong chemical is used during treatment, and the ants in the home scatter. Scattered ants can pair off and form new colonies exasperating the issue. Instead of one colony, there may be several colonies, and the problem could be seen in multiple areas of the home rather than one localized spot.
Our goal is for Insight customers to live comfortably in their homes. To achieve this, our technicians work tirelessly to keep homes pest free. Persistent pests, such as ants, can be frustrating for both the homeowners and technicians, but they can work together to get the problem solved. Homeowners are most familiar with their pest issues because they see the activity every day. So…the next time you those devil bugs invade your kitchen counters or your sugar canisters, reach for the phone and call Insight Pest Solutions to take control of the infestation and give you a peace of mind.