Ant colony can be eliminated in a few weeks if the bait is spread throughout it and no toxic sprays will be needed! |
Some ant species will ignore baits so as is always the case in pest control, fitting the control measures to the pest is vital. In general, ants that eat a varied diet will be less affected by baits because the bait will comprise a smaller proportion of their food.
For baits to be effective as ant control measures. ants must find the bait, eat it and take it back to the nest to the queen. Do not use insecticide sprays if you want to bait for ant control as the foraging ants will be killed before they have a chance to return to the nest.
Sugar-loving ants, such as house ants, Argentine and honey ants are the easiest to control by using baits. Lay a trap for sweet-feeding ants by applying a ribbon of mint or apple jelly to masking tape (easy to apply, easy to remove later), in the areas where you have seen ants, especially around water sources and window ledges. A plastic squeeze bottle with a pointed tip makes a convenient applicator. Check the "masked areas" in two to three hours for ants. If more than 10 are present. apply an ant bait to the jelly that has Boric Acid
Easy-to-make Bait for Protein and Grease-Loving Ants:
Mix together 2 ounces or 4 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter with 3 ounces or 6 Tablespoons of Honey and add 3/4 teaspoon of Boric Acid
ENSURE THAT CHILDREN AND PETS DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO THE BAIT BY PLACING AN ANT CAFE OVER IT, IF NEEDED.
As Carpenter Ants eat a variety of foods, they can be as much of a challenge to bait as they are to eliminate by any method. A wide range of least-toxic pest control tools have been shown effective against carpenter ants from boric acid-based granular baits and rods to borate treated lumber and baits laced with bacteria that inhibit nerve to muscle communication, causing paralysis of the ant and eventual death. Make sure that regardless of the method employed to control carpenter ant colonies, that bait is available in their prime feeding times of late afternoon and the early evening hours.
There are a number of small ants that invade kitchens and homes that can be managed safely with inexpensive baits made from boric acid (borate) if the infestation is not too large. Baits are made from sugar and this slow-acting insecticide. The idea is that ants find the sugary bait and carry some back to the nest where insecticide goes to work. Ant killer baits can be purchased ready-made, or can be homemade from a sugary base plus borate insecticide.
Ants that can be managed with these simple baits are odorous house ant, Argentine ant, pharaoh ant, pavement ant and a few others so long as the infestation is not too large. Some species such as carpenter ants, fire ants and harvester ants must be managed in other ways.
Large colonies that can't be controlled with borate baits alone may require the newer, and more expensive, gel baits for indoor use or granular baits for outside placements. While these new baits are relatively expensive they are vastly superior to simple borate baits for tough infestations. Gel baits come in tubes that are squeezed out with a plunger into individual bait placements. Since the gel can be a bit messy gel baits are also packaged in individual bait stations at a somewhat higher cost.
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