Test what works best for ants with a bait card


January 25, 2024

Anna Berry

Anna Berry, BCE

Ant management tools are rarely a one-size-fits-all situation, especially at commercial or industrial accounts. With their response to repellents, indoor/outdoor nests, attraction to warmth, and varying dietary needs of the colony, it’s important to identify the species.

Once you figure out what you’re dealing with, it still can be challenging to decide on the right control path. Putting out a “bait card” with a couple tasty options — following the facility rules, of course — can help tell you what species are present, where they’re coming from, and what foods they’re after.

The bait card doesn’t have to be fancy. Just place your business card down with some options smeared on either side of the back of the card. Use something high in protein, like a nut butter, and something sweet, like a jam.

At the beginning of your service, place the card where it is not accessible to the customer or public, but where there are reports of ants. Once you’re done with your service, come back to the card and see whether there’s a trail of ants going to it. If so, follow the trail to find where they’re entering the area. Identify the species and note whether they’re preferring one food over the other. This will help you choose a bait or other control strategies and communicate the sanitation needs to the customer.


About the Author

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BERRY is a technical director at B&G Equipment. Previously, she worked as training manager for McCloud Pest Management Solutions, South Elgin, Ill. She is a Board Certified Entomologist, ServSafe certified and instructor and proctor for the National Restaurant Association and is certified in HACCP. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Oregon and a master’s degree in grain science from Kansas State University.

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