Steps to decide how to treat ants

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January 18, 2023

Chris Keefer

Dr. Chris Keefer, technical services manager at Syngenta Professional Pest Management

Ant identification is critical for determining the protocol that will be used for management. Follow these steps:

1. Thorough inspection:

  • Take pictures, if allowed.
  • Document conducive conditions.
  • Make diagrams and note locations of activity.
  • Document presence or absence of honeydew producers that ants may be tending.
  • Interview customers about ant activity; take notes.

2. Identification:

  • Familiarize yourself with the Top 5 ant species in your region.
  • Collect, label and store several dozen specimens.
  • Use a microscope for magnification.
  • Reach out to universities, extension agents or industry experts for help.

3. Construction:

  • Familiarize yourself with local construction types conducive to ant activity.
  • Visit structures in various construction phases.
  • Meet with a builder to learn more and ask questions.

4. Communication:

  • Be upfront and direct with your customers.
  • Explain the biology of the target species, the treatment process and expectations.
  • Use written, verbal and visual communication.

About the Author

Technical Services Representative, Syngenta Professional Pest Management

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