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antsAnt Treatment

ANT INDEX

CARPENTER ANTS  PHARAOH ANTS PISSANTS   WHITE FOOTED ANT

 

This article deals with control of household ant pests with use of proper pest control products designed for the job.
If you have carpenter ants or wish to prevent carpenter ant infestations, go to our Carpenter Ant article.
Special details should be adhered to when dealing with carpenter ants, such as careful inspections (both indoors and outdoors around infested building) and use of proper pest control tools.  Special baits are now available that were formulated to target carpenter ants and to kill the entire ant colony.  For basic biology, habits and elimination of these wood ants, go to the Carpenter Ant Control article.   Before choosing products for the job, make a thorough inspection of the premises at the correct time of day.  Details on this subject can be found on the Inspecting for Carpenter Ants web article.  Each job will vary but most people choose to first eliminate current populations with a good carpenter ant bait and then keep home free of future infestations with the use of exterior spray treatments on a regularly scheduled basis.  Read both Carpenter Ant Control and Carpenter Ant Baits articles for best results.  Also, see Carpenter Ant Products page.

Pharaoh ants also demand special attention.  If not treated properly, you can actually make the problem worse than when you first began.  Pharaoh ants do not respond well to contact pesticides such as sprays and dusts.  They are best controlled with the use of professional baits to which they are known to prefer.  These tiny ants can occasionally become finicky about foods they eat.  Do not be surprised if you have to rotate or change your brands and types of baits in order to completely eliminate the colonies that live in the wall voids and attics.
Go to our Pharaoh Ant article for more information.   For other ants, their biology, habits and elimination methods, go to our ANT INDEX.

Ants are very opportunistic creatures, taking advantage of any and all food sources that help keep their colonies healthy.  These social insects always have a sense of order, organizational qualities that make an ant colony in organism in itself.
Once ants decide that your home is a suitable source of nutrition, they usually use the structure for nesting if not nesting in many areas immediately surrounding the home.  Worker ants communicate with each other, thus keeping the colony up to date on possible food sources, nesting sites and enemies of the colony.  A major communication tool of ant colonies is the use of pheromones.  These pheromones have multiple uses but the main purpose of this discussion  concerns food.
Once the foraging scouts (ants that are constantly seeking foods needed by the colony) find their way into your home, they return to the colony, leaving a scent trail that directs other workers back to the food source.
If you live in an area where ants are known to be a problem, you must take preventative measures which protect your home and property from possible ant invasions.  Most homes that become infested with ants are not being protected by a monthly or quarterly spray program.
Many people no longer treat their home on a regular basis as they did in the past.  This is the major reason why ants are now the number one household pest in the United States.  A simple spray treatment can prevent ants and other pests from entering homes and will also keep down the number of ants that invade lawns and gardens.
There are several professional insecticide concentrates that (when used properly) are many times more effective and much safer than those products used in the past.  These newer synthetic products require far less active ingredients to do the job, are far less toxic than Dursban, Diazinon and other older and heavier chemicals; synthetics are usually odorless and they last many times longer than old fashioned pesticides.
Before the introduction of these safer, low odor products most homeowners and professionals had to spray on a monthly basis for prevention.  We now can treat the exterior of our homes just a few times each year to prevent most problems, especially ants.

Talstar One, Cynoff EC, Demon EC (Cynoff and Demon both contain Cypermethrin), Suspend SC, Dragnet (Permethrin Pro), Tempo insecticides and Demand CS are a few of the professional products available that are good for preventing and treating ant problems in and around the home.  The products mentioned are all synthetic pyrethrins and will all take care of many pests found in and around homes.
There are pests of households that require broadcasting pesticide sprays on carpets and furniture.  Fleas, ticks, carpet beetles and a few of such pests.  If you need a product that will take care of these types of pests (as well as ant infestations) you need to use Suspend SC or Dragnet.
If you have no need of an insecticide that can be broadcast indoors, use Talstar One, Cynoff EC, Demon EC or Demand CS.
Professionals prefer to use either Talstar One or a Cypermethrin product (Demon or Cynoff) for ant control in and around the home.  Talstar has a super long residual (requiring less spraying) and can be sprayed on shrubs and flowers where ants might be foraging.  Cypermethrin products are great to use if you also have problems with invasive spiders.

 

1)  BAIT INSIDE   Top of Page

The use of ant bait inside cupboards, closets, window sills, attics, crawl spaces and other foraging places is necessary to control nests inside your home. Dual Choice, Maxforce, FluorGuard, Gourmet Ant Bait or Niban FG will all work.  Some are better for certain species (when treating for Pharaoh ants, you must use Maxforce.) We have found excellent control by combining FluorGuard and Gourmet Ant Bait for indoor ant infestations; Dual Choice is also becoming very popular and is an excellent bait that can be used alone or in conjunction with Drax.  Ants will find the bait within a day or two.  After feeding, they bring some back to their nest to feed other members in the colony.  Nurse ants, queens and larvae will all eat and die. This controls nests inside the home.  Once your indoor ant infestation is under control, you may either continue baiting or switch to a periodical spray to help control indoor pests.

2)  YARD TREATMENT   Top of Page

Talstar granules should be spread around the entire home. If fire ants are present, drench mounds with an approved insecticide  to quickly eliminate them. Products containing Cypermethrin (Cypermethrin 4 ounce, Cynoff EC, Demon EC) are the best for mound drenching.  An alternative to putting out granular pesticides is the use of an outside bait. Maxforce granular is one of the best. The bait method takes a little longer but works well and poses no hazard to non target species. Bait every 3 months to keep ant populations under control.

**You must treat outside.  Failure to treat outside will result in new ant infestations inside your home, sometimes in only a matter of days.

3) SPRAY FOUNDATION    Top of Page

Ant problems start because regular pest control is NOT being done.  To prevent ants, spiders, roaches, etc. from entering your home a good residual spray around the foundation and around windows, doors, fireplaces, etc. on the outside of your house is necessary.  This should be done several times a year. Some good products to choose from include Cynoff, Talstar One and Suspend.   This outside spraying will stop ants from laying new scent trails leading to the inside of your home and prevent a future infestation. **

** Following steps 1 and 2 above will solve your current problem.  If step 3 is not followed, new infestations of ants (as well as roaches, crickets, spiders, scorpions, centipedes, etc.) will re-infest your home.

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