Black ant season is fast approaching, and with more people spending time in their gardens, pest controllers need to be prepared for another busy season.
The biggest problem when it comes to ant control is that homeowners often try to resolve infestations themselves, often with unsatisfactory results. This means professional support is needed once the infestation is well-established.
Here we discuss the reasons why ants can be such a problem to control and give our advice on how pest controllers can get on top of ant infestations while working alongside customers.
Why are ants difficult to control?
As soon as the weather warms up, garden ants start to venture out of their nests. In recent years, this has been getting earlier, which is likely due to climate change, with mild temperatures becoming increasingly common.
Ants are active anytime between March and October. Here are some of the reasons why they are hard to control:
- They build their nests in warm, hard to find places, such as walled cavities, under slabs and in extensions
- They can be located both internally and externally
- They can travel considerable distances in search of food, making it hard to pinpoint exactly where they’re coming from
- Garden ants thrive around buildings with encouraging conditions such as sandy soils and new nests will typically reoccur every year
- If they aren’t treated as soon as the first ant is identified, the nests can continue to grow, and with some species multiple nests can develop
- There are limited outside treatment options available with liquid insecticides, making it difficult to eradicate them
Early treatment is the best way to achieve successful ant control, but this can be a challenge as pest controllers often get called out once the problem is established and after amateur applications have failed. Education and communication are key to both successful customer relationships and good control.
Here’s some advice on how building customer relationships can help achieve your goal:
- Showcase your knowledge of controlling pests, specifically ants
- Take time to build relationships with homeowners or facility managers to help build their trust and confidence in you
- Explain the benefits of seeking professional help as soon as possible
- Highlight that certain species, such as Pharoah ants, are very challenging to control, and without the correct management, populations can escalate further
Top tips on controlling ants
- Keep on top of property maintenance and implement high hygiene standards - bins and food can attract ants
- Tackle ants as soon as possible – smaller nests are much easier to eradicate
- Select the right insecticide or bait for the right species, as different ant species have different palatability
- Avoid sprays as these aren’t targeted and can cause the ants to spread further. This is particularly the case for Pharoah ants, as stress may ‘push’ infestations into the deep fabric of the building, making direct access to the pest almost impossible
- Baits allow for a more targeted approach, providing better, more efficient, sustainable control
- Maxforce Pushbox controls all main ant species, targets the queen in the nest, and includes a tried and tested formulation which is highly palatable
- The syrup like formulation is highly palatable and is carried back to the nest by the ants
- Successful control of general ant species can be seen within several days
- Full control of Pharaoh ants can be seen within two months
- Targeted baits will wipe ants out for a season – making them more efficient and cost-effective