Integrated Pest Management strategies to prevent ants

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January 24, 2022

David Newfang

David Newfang

Management of ant infestations requires the consideration of many factors, including species, colony location, infestation size and structure type. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies are always good to implement, with recommendations such as sanitation improvements, managing landscapes and excess moisture (such as getting the customer on a watering schedule), and clutter removal.

Exclusion is important to ant management. Techniques such as caulking and sealing are good. Whether the nest is located indoors or outdoors should be considered. However, when buildings are in disrepair, locating and excluding all entry points may not be feasible.

When ants forage, they lay down pheromone trails that lead to food sources for other ants to follow. Cleaning pheromone trails will help disrupt communication to foraging workers.

Ant baits can be effective, depending on the species — and specifically, when the nests are hidden well or are numerous. In addition to being collected by foraging ants, baits also can eliminate other colony members by being shared throughout the colony.

One more tip: Be judicious when applying repellent materials, as they can cause some species to split and spread further in the structure. Don’t use in the same area as baits.

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About the Author

David Newfang, ACE, is a technical representative at Rockwell Laboratories.

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