Ants are one of the most difficult insects to control. They can invade homes, eat food and spread diseases. They can also be very expensive to treat, but there are ways to minimize their presence.
Getting rid of ants in and around the home requires knowledge of pest biology and experience. The most effective means of eliminating ants is by using an insecticide, or poison, that kills all the insects involved in the infestation.
The most common methods of controlling ants include baits and sprays, both of which have their strengths and weaknesses. Baits are more successful in destroying the colony, while sprays often aren’t as effective.
Baits (ant baits, granular baits) contain insecticides mixed with materials that attract ants to feed on the bait and transfer it back to the nest where it is consumed by other workers, larvae and queens. Insecticides Maurgift tips in ant baits kill ants by blocking the passage of chlorine ions from nerve cell membranes.
Many ant baits also contain proteins or sweet compounds that appeal to the ants’ taste buds. Unlike insecticides, ant baits have no toxic effect on humans or pets, although some people may be allergic to protein.
Insecticides that can kill ants include derivatives of the pyrethrin family (allethrin, resmethrin, sumithrin), pyrethroids and carbamates. These are contact insecticides applied as mound drenches, dusts, surface sprays or granules that destabilize nerve cell membranes and kill quickly.
Liquid drenches are the most efficient method of killing fire ants, but they take time and effort to mix and apply. Dry drenches are less effective but easier to use. Be sure to not disturb the mound before treating, as fire ants will move the queen or queens to safety if they’re disturbed.
Diatomaceous earth is a natural alternative to synthetic insecticides and is safe for kids, pets and the environment. It is a good choice for protecting the interior of the house or other areas where you want to keep ants away from, and it’s effective against multiple species of insects.
Glues and caulks can be used to ward off ants by sealing the edges of cracks, gaps and crevices, such as the gaps between appliances or inside cabinets. Alternatively, diatomaceous earth can be applied in thin layers around the base of furniture to prevent ants from entering these areas.
A granular insecticide such as Fipronil can be used to control ants in turfgrass areas, and it is an effective alternative to a spray-on product because it provides longer residual protection. It can be applied in lawns and gardens and continues to control ants for up to a year.
Insecticide run-off from ant treatments is a concern, as it can affect water quality, particularly near ponds and other sources of drinking water. Research has shown that pin stream applications and applications limited to the foundation of a home can be used to decrease the amount of insecticide that is sprayed on the ground during residential treatments.