Ant bait acceptance refers to the ability of an ant colony to accept and consume a bait that contains a toxic substance. Ants have a complex social structure and their diets can vary depending on several factors including ant species, colony location, seasonality, presence of predators or competing ant colonies, and the availability of water sources. The bait contains a small amount of active ingredient that will slowly kill the ants that consume it. One important aspect of bait effectiveness is reliant on bait acceptance.
Get to know your colony:
One of the most important factors is the type of food that the ant colony is currently consuming as it can help you determine the age and size of the colony. Younger colonies may be more willing to try new food sources, while older colonies may be more averse and less likely to accept the bait. If the ant colony is growing, a carbohydrate-based diet will be preferable. If a mature ant colony is at its limit for expansion, protein-based foods will better sustain its colony and prevent overpopulating. Understanding your ant population and available food sources can better guide your bait selections. Knowing this, one of the best ways to encourage bait acceptance is to remove all other competing food sources, forcing the colony to feed on the only remaining source left: your bait.
Ants can have different feeding habits depending on the season and time of year. During the spring and summer, ants are likely to be more active and have a greater need for protein-rich food to feed their growing larvae. While during the fall and winter, ants may be more focused on storing food for the colder months when resources are scarce. Seasonality can influence the type of bait formulation and bait placement that is most effective at different times of the year. Understanding how environmental factors influence bait acceptance is important when developing a pest control strategy and subsequently improving the likelihood of successful treatments.
Outlasting the Competition:
The unique gel bait matrix of SureKill Ant Gel Bait makes it attractive to many of the most common nuisance ant species, including Argentine, black, and Pharaoh ants. Formulated with the active ingredient imidacloprid, allows for the transfer of the active back to the ant colony, including the queen. The delayed response of the active ingredient enables the active to build up in the colony over time and ultimately can lead to the collapse of the ant population. Once applied, the gel resists drying out and remains palatable for ants longer increasing the likelihood of consumption by foraging ants. SureKill Ant Gel Bait is an excellent option to include as a primary or rotational bait for your ant treatments. Check them out here or contact your local Neogen sales representative for more information.