By ElRay Roper, Senior Technical Representative, Syngenta Professional Pest Management
Year after year, ants remain at the top of the list of the most common insects that Pest Management Professionals (PMPs) are called upon to manage. Many of these calls are for the so-called “tramp ants” that include Argentine, odorous house and crazy ants. These ants feed on a variety of food sources, but prefer sweet foods like honeydew and other sugar sources.
Most treatment protocols for tramp ants call for outdoor sprays of an insecticide paired with application of ant baits inside the structure. The philosophy behind this approach is that a spray will keep ants out of the structure, and a bait will control ants already inside the structure. However, only a small percentage of ants in a colony actively forage for food, so perimeter sprays may have a limited effect on an ant colony.
Ant baits, on the other hand, are carried by foragers back to the colony where they have the potential to control the entire ant colony. Baiting outdoors throughout the season can allow PMPs to exert control on the colony before foragers even make it inside the structure.
PMPs should have access to bait products that effectively target ant foraging behaviors. The following solutions from the Syngenta ant control product portfolio can help PMPs target the particular types of ant feeders based on the needs of their accounts:
• Advion® Ant gel bait and Optigard® Ant gel bait – Advion Ant has 19 different ant species on its label, and both products feature a clear gel formulation that ants are attracted to and can easily consume. These baits primarily target sweet and carbohydrate feeders like Argentine, odorous house and crazy ants.
• Advion insect granule – This granular formulation targets all groups of ants, especially those species with a preference for food in relatively solid particles.
• Advion Ant bait arena – Containing the active ingredient indoxacarb, this bait arena primarily targets lipid and protein feeders. Most tramp ants feed on proteins in the spring and early summer.
• Advion fire ant bait – This bait primarily targets lipid feeders and ensures control within 24-72 hours, faster than any other fire ant bait on the market.
For effective control, PMPs should place the bait along foraging trails and near nesting sites to ensure rapid attraction of ants. The effectiveness of ant baits can be extended by injecting the bait into a plastic straw and placing the straw along the foraging trail. The straw helps the bait stay fresh and protects it from dust, rain and irrigation water that could wash the bait away.
For more information about ant control, visit SyngentaPMP.com.
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