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Key to ant problems: Identification

|  January 4, 2021
Dr. Janis Reed, BCE, Technical Services Manager, Product Development Team, Control Solutions Inc.

Dr. Janis Reed, BCE, Technical Services Manager, Product Development Team, Control Solutions Inc.

Ant problems are some of the most complex a pest management professional (PMP) can face. The complexity stems nearly completely from a single factor: identification. The choice of products and methods at a PMP’s disposal to solve a problem also are complex, but the accurate determination of identification always should be the first step. Correct identification can help a PMP determine:

  • Do the ants have multiple- or single-queen colonies?
  • How large is the typical colony?
  • Is the colony likely to have multiple nesting sites?
  • What are the typical food preferences?
  • What are the foraging patterns, and the times of day when the ants are most active?
  • Do the ants nest indoors, or only forage indoors?

These questions — all generally answerable with an accurate identification — will help PMPs choose the best treatment methods. If there are multiple nesting sites or large colonies, more bait placements in more locations may be required. If nests are primarily outdoors, a complete perimeter treatment may be warranted.

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