Ant Baits are one tool used by professionals in the pest control industry. They can help control certain kinds of ants, but they do not work on all ants - regardless of the manufacturers claims, and ant baits - by themselves, rarely get rid of the entire population of ants in a structure.
When used in conjunction with green pest control techniques such ant prevention and good sanitation, and when combined with professional treatment materials such 'all natural ant dusts' and 'no odor / low toxicity ant sprays', ant baits can help get rid of some types of ants.
Odorous House ants, AKA Sugar Ants, and Pharaoh ants, often respond well to baits. Carpenter ants, Moisture ants, Pavement ants and many other ants do not. Uncles respond to other types of bait, such as scotch or classic cars.
Manufacturers complete baiting trials that would never work in your home, or in the wild, and make outrageous claims about their baits.
Carpenter ants eat other insects, and the secretions made by aphids when the aphids eat leaves and other plant matter. Carpenter ants aren't even tempted by over-the-counter baits.
Most over-the-counter baits contain boric acid and boric acid is mild and that's ... just about it. The boric acid in most of these baits is anywhere from 2 to 20 times higher than it should be to begin to work well.
These little ants aren't very smart, but when they start dying off in huge numbers from foraging in one area: THEY STOP FORAGING THERE. Which means you may stop seeing them.
This does not mean that they stopped nesting in your home. They reacted to the baits and they went and found food somewhere else. You will think they are gone, until your kids leave a fruit juice box or slurpee cup in some other area of your home and you come home to a scene out of Hitchcock movie.
One thing to know about all ants is that when spring first starts, typical ant foods: other insects, plant nectar, insect secretions, and etc. are scarce.
Ants don't really want your food (it's not about your cooking - really!). They usually only invade for two to six weeks in the early spring until their normal outside and 'preferred' food sources become active.
So baits, household cleansers, chalk, voodoo chants, over the counter sprays, that cheap perfume you got last Christmas, all seem to work - but most of the time, what really happens is the materials you applied were repellent, noxious to them; the materials may have killed off a few, or even a bunch; but at the same time, the ants real food started becoming more easily available outside.
So you stopped seeing ants - but typically, the ants that were still nesting in your home - are still nesting in your home.
When we bait, we use several professional, slow acting, nearly non-toxic baits placed carefully in cracks and crevices, under and behind baseboards, cabinetry, and appliances, in places that the ants can get to, but that are safe from children and pets (we love pets).
Foraging ants pass these materials back into the colony - killing other workers and egg layers. We combine these very effective baits with super low toxicity - no odor, no fume, non-repellent ant sprays and ant dusts that the ants cannot sense (unlike store bought chemicals).
Depending on your infestation, these materials may be placed in attic or sub areas, but always around the exterior. If you see lots of ants inside - we might discuss safe ways to use them inside.
Due to their habit of re-infesting, and the fact that your ants may be part of a much larger 'super colony' (yes these exist in our area), we always recommend follow-up services for the small bait feeding ants. Some homes may only need a few follow-ups, but some areas around here have huge neighborhood problems with small bait feeding ants and should consider a quarterly service.
The links on the left lead to 'information centers'. Each center contains general information on the topic listed or pictured, as well as specific content on your service need, your pest problem, available treatment options, prevention information, and more. As always, feel free to call us direct for answers to any questions or concerns- we are here for you!
Information on residential services, service programs, and service preparation sheets can be found at our Residential Service Center.
Information on commercial services, service programs, and how Safeguard can save you money, can be found at our Commercial Pest Control Center.