What Is The Best Pest Control For Ants?

What is the best pest control for ants? The best way to control ants is to find the colony and treat it directly. Ants can ruin plenty more than picnics. While ants in general are good for the environment,...

Ants can ruin plenty more than picnics. While ants in general are good for the environment, no one wants to share their kitchen with them.

Stoy Hedges, an entomologist and Director of Technical Services at Terminix International, says, "The best way to control ants is to find the colony and treat it directly. This is easier said than done. Researchers have found that there may be as many as 500,000 ant visits per home per night on the outside of a home, on average, at the height of the season. If you have a parent colony which is living in some kind of wet wood, which is really outside a tree hole, or a tree stump, then they may have as many as a dozen or more satellite colonies."

That thought could cause some sleepless nights, visualizing all those little creatures moving around your home. But they don't stay outside all the time. "They use the inside of the home for the nesting in voids. They live in alarm clocks beside somebody's bed. When you have pests like that, professionals really come in handy, because they can find the locations where the ants are living," says Hedges.

So what do pest control companies do to get rid of ants? "There are lots of ant baits available, but the issue with baits is whether the ants will feed on it long enough to get enough of the active ingredient into the colony to spread around. You want to kill the entire colony. It is much easier if you can find the colony and treat it directly with appropriate material following label directions," Hedges explains.

According to the University of California Integrated Pest Management Program website, "Ants often enter buildings seeking food and water, warmth and shelter, or a refuge from dry, hot weather or flooded conditions. They may appear suddenly in buildings if other food sources become unavailable or weather conditions change. Become aware of the seasonal cycle of ants in your area and be prepared for annual invasions by caulking and baiting before the influx."

Ants can become a huge problem so a multilevel approach is best. First, focus on keeping outside ants, outside. The UC-IPM website states, "It is unrealistic and impractical to attempt to totally eliminate ants from an outdoor area." Instead, focus on keeping them away from your home and making your home more difficult for ants to enter.

Look for points of possible entry and seal them. Don't leave sugary items open in your kitchen or cupboards. Wipe up spills promptly. Ants frequently follow along pipes or wires into houses, so make certain yours doesn't allow access to ants. Plug holes with petroleum jelly. Vacuum any areas that attract ants.

"When properly used, baits are more effective and safer than sprays," states the UC-IPM website.
Use baits outdoors unless the ants have made serious gains inside. Don't use sprays and baits together, that will decrease the effectiveness. Don't use baits year-round, either. Use only when you are having a problem.

In the case of severe infestation, contact a pest control professional. They have more expertise and products and know how to get control of your pest problem.

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