Ants are the No. 1 reason homeowners call a pest management professional (PMP), accounting for more new customer calls than any other pest. In terms of new business for PMPs, that’s a good thing. But what’s not good is that ants account for more retreatment calls than any other pest.
Ant species exhibit variable feeding preferences, foraging patterns, nesting choices and colony structures, and require different treatment strategies and product choices. A thorough inspection provides the information needed to make the best decision regarding treatment. Inspection includes identifying locations of ant activity, ant species, nest locations, if possible, and conditions conducive to ant activity.
After inspection, consider taking a “three-layered” treatment approach to successfully control ants on the first visit:
• Layer 1: Exterior on structure: Create a non-repellent insecticide treatment zone on and around the structure, being especially careful to treat the joint where exterior siding meets the cement block or brick foundation. If possible, make the application when ants are active and pest pressure is evident.
• Layer 2: Exterior off structure: Next, treat areas away from the structure — including trees, planting beds, garbage areas and overgrown and cluttered areas —that are possible nesting grounds. Ants are known to prefer crawling along structural lines when trailing. So, in addition to treating the suspected nesting areas, focus on edges of sidewalks and driveways, garden borders, fences, etc.
• Layer 3: Inside structure: Be prepared with a variety of non-repellent indoor control products because of the range of ant species and treatment situations inside a structure. Choose the best formulation based on where ants are trailing or suspected to be nesting.