Tips and Tricks: The ‘triple-whammy’ approach for ant invasions

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November 16, 2012

By Dr. Cisse Spragins
CEO, Rockwell Labs

Ants can be active and invade structures any time the weather is sufficiently warm — typically, 50° F or more. One effective way to prevent the formation of large colonies of pest ants is to use a weatherable 10% boric acid granular bait in a proactive perimeter treatment program. The bait should be applied quarterly. In cold climates, the winter quarter can be skipped. In very warm, moist climates (Southern coastal areas), bi-monthly treatment will likely be needed. At 2- to 3-ft. band is sufficient, at a rate of 0.25 lb. per 100 ft. A typical home would take 0.5 lb. If non-perimeter areas with conducive conditions like heavy vegetation or wood piles exist, these areas should also be treated.

Unlike a pyrethroid granule that just chases worker ants away for awhile, while the colony thrives, the weatherable granular bait provides something for the ants to carry back to kill the nest. The protocol should also include application to the structure of a microencapsulated pyrethroid. The foundation, eaves and window and door frames should be treated, per new regulations, but the ground should not be treated. This protocol will take care of other occasional invaders as well.

If ants are already a problem at the structure, a three-pronged approach should be used:

1. Apply a non-repellent 1 ft. up and 1 ft. out around the perimeter and on identified trails.

2. Apply the 10% boric acid granular bait as noted above. It should also be sprinkled right on top of where the non-repellent was sprayed on the ground.

3. Lastly, apply a sweet gel or syrup ant bait along identified trails on and/or inside the structure.

This “triple-whammy” approach will help ensure success in one trip and avoid costly callbacks.

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