70% reduction in ant infestation call-backs

Pest controllers know the importance of minimising call-backs, and with ant infestation season fast approaching, research indicating that product selection can account for a 70% reduction in call-back visits is welcome news.

The pest control business MITIE have calculated that reducing ant call-backs is hugely influenced by product choice, and for ant control they use Maxforce® Quantum.

Minimising call backs is crucial to maximising the company’s efficiency. Gareth Davies, MITIE’s Southern regional director explains that return visits are not only a huge drain on productivity, but they can also be damaging to a company’s reputation.

Using Bayer’s Maxforce® Quantum, Gareth says that 99 % of the time, the gel bait formulation eradicates the infestation first time. “Reducing our call backs by at least 70%, we are cleaning colonies of every ant species we use the product for. Meaning we don’t have repeat visit costs.”

With a customer base covering densely populated towns and cities across southern England, black or garden ants (Lasius niger) and ghost ants (Tapinoma melanocephalum) together, form the most common reason for being called upon.

Feedback from their technicians using Maxforce® Quantum is extremely positive across a range of treatment environments. “It’s improving their productivity and ultimately increasing our profitability,“ says Gareth.

Maxforce® Quantum is a fast-acting treatment that can be used indoors and outdoors. It will take effect within days of treatment, and the entire colony will be eliminated within several weeks, depending on the species.

The product is approved for use in domestic premises, food handling sites, public buildings, such as hospital wards, hotels, and community centres and for outdoor use. It’s quick and easy to apply and it lasts for up to three months.  It’s a unique bait with a syrup like texture that offers long lasting effective and economical control of most major ant species.

Unlike other ant gel baits that begin to lose moisture immediately, Quantum’s hydroscopic formula retains and absorbs moisture to keep it attractive to ants. They’re drawn to the transparent formulation to feed, and then take some of the droplets back to the colony. A 30g cartridge contains 150 single doses (0.2g), which is enough to cover 150m2.

Bayer’s Maxforce® LN is another option available to add to an effective product selection programme. It offers convenient long-term control and is specially formulated for nest eradication.

Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, Maxforce® LN incorporates honey and sugar with the active ingredient imidacloprid, which works on the ant’s central nervous system, and is incorporated inside a bait station which should be placed in a horizontal position where the insects can be seen foraging.

Indoors you will often see trails emerging from underneath doors or by cracks in windows or crevices.  Outdoors, where ants feed on aphids and are attracted to soft fruit, nests are often hard to find, so principal consultant at the Pest Management Consultancy, Clive Boase, suggests that pest control experts let the bait do the work for them, by leaving the stations in an area of obvious infestation.

“Very often you don’t know where the nests are, they’re almost impossible to find. You just need to let the bait do the work for you,” he says.

He advises leaving between one and four bait stations per nest, and says colony eradication can be expected within seven to fourteen days. The effectiveness of the active ingredient allows a very small amount of product to be used per nest.

Bayer’s product portfolio offers effective ant control in two formulations. It is clear that product selection is crucial in successful ant control, and in minimising call-backs.

According to Bayer’s Alan Morris, The cost of Maxforce® Quantum and Maxforce® LN only account for a relatively minor cost in terms of the price of dealing with an ant infestation.

Overall, only between 5-6% of the total cost of a job comprises of the purchase of the product, with the remainder coming down to labour – yet it’s a factor that can have significant Impact on the outcome of any call-out,” he says.

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Maxforce® LN contains imidacloprid 0.05% (HSE 8622), Maxforce® Quantum contains imidacloprid 0.03%  w/w (HSE 8888, PCS 95547). USE BIOCIDES SAFELY. ALWAYS READ THE LABEL AND PRODUCT INFORMATION BEFORE USE. PAY ATTENTION TO THE RISK INDICATIONS AND FOLLOW THE SAFETY PRECAUTIONS ON THE LABEL