Years ago, people used to spray the nastiest stuff that they could find in their homes on any wandering ants on the kitchen counter. Well, that has changed, thankfully. More and more folks are being chemical-conscious, and learning that sometimes spraying everything under the kitchen sink on the ants is not only dangerous, it plain just doesn’t work.
Certain ants that we continue with in pest control have instincts that can make an ant infestation worse with traditional chemicals. What do I average? Well, as an example, Odorous House Ants, the principal ant in some parts of Pennsylvania, will truly have a colony fracture as a consequence of traditional insecticide sprays. A defense mechanism, the queen will panic when a certain number of workers do not return (because of pesticides killing them) and then fracture the colony. This method, you now have two colonies. And they will not stop coming until deleted. So now you have double the trouble. We do not have this problem with the Pavement Ant, thankfully.
Carpenter Ants, known for destroying wood in homes and businesses, will make sawdust like shavings as they bore out room for a bigger nest. When bug sprays are used on these ants, they will scatter, move into other parts of the home, then rebuild the colony. Without specialized help, a Carpenter Ant infestation can go on for years.
So this brings me to the point where I mention how a pest control company treats them. Knowing the different habits of ant species, we have to customize our approach consequently. There is no same formula of treatment either for ants collectively, or for every home. A good pest control technician needs to have a plan of attack for each home. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. However, there is one thing that should keep the same as far as treatment: non-repellent pesticides should be used. Non-repellent insecticides use the habits of social insects such as ants for unprotected to the results we want: colony elimination. As a pest control company, we are not concerned with the fifty ants on your counter, we are concerned with the thousands you cannot see that may be destroying your house.
Some non-repellents are obtainable over-the-counter, in bait formulation. Often, when a pest control customer calls me and I find bait stations, they are not non-repellent, transferable baits. This method that the ant bait simple kills too quickly. Why is this a problem? It does no more than your ant spray. The rest of the colony is not affected when the ant dies. So killing ants in the home is pointless. They just keep coming. When a transferable bait or spray is used, you will have a domino effect. Without knowing it, the ants that get into the bait or spray, become our “agents of death” to the rest of the colony, infecting them like a virus. The mode of action allows the ants to get a lethal measure before dying, then pass it on before it kills the ant that transferred the product.
Make sure that read all label directions should you try to tackle an ant infestation yourself. However, if you cannot be sure that you are dealing with an ant colony that may fracture, consult a specialized company.