Everything to Know About Fire Ant MoundsFebruary 20, 2022
Everything You Need to Know About Leaf AntsFebruary 20, 2022
Ants are one of nature’s hardest workers as they aid the natural process of decomposition. Ants help to break down leaf litter, dead animals, dead insects, and other types of organic matter. They are a sustainable food source for many creatures, as well.
It’s when ants invade your lawn, garden, or home that they become a pest that needs to be dealt with. Ants carry many types of bacteria that can cause harm to your family and can pose a physical threat to your family and pets when their nests are disturbed. Some ant species, such as carpenter ants, can cause substantial cosmetic and structural damage to your home. Learning about the different types of ant baits and how to use them can help you to protect your family, pets, property, and home.
What Is Ant Bait?
Ant bait is a mixture of ingredients that work together to attract and kill ants. Ant bait can be purchased from many different retailers, or you can make ant bait as a DIY project with ingredients that are commonly found in your home. Regardless of whether you choose to purchase ant bait or make ant bait, when it’s used correctly, it will yield the same result of eliminating ants. In dire circumstances, a professional pest control agency can help.
Ant bait can be solid or liquid and can be used in different applications depending on where the ant infestation is located. To deal with ants that are trespassing in your personal space, you must first find the source of the intrusion. The source of your ant problems can depend on the type of ant you are dealing with. Ants such as fire ants are commonly found infesting your property, in fields or your lawn, but rarely make nests within your home.
Carpenter ants can also be found infesting dead trees or firewood on your property but can move into your house, causing significant cosmetic and structural damage. Ants that are on your land are a little easier to deal with than ants that are residing in your home. Ants that have nests outdoors will often enter your house while foraging, and you can typically follow their trails and seal off the entryway or place ant bait in their path.
Where you find ants in your home can tell the story of why they are living or trespassing in your home. The common areas where ants are found in a house include the laundry room, kitchen, and bathroom. All of these rooms can provide what ants are searching for: food, moisture, and warmth.
Types of Ant Baits
As mentioned above, ant bait can be solid or liquid, and each type can be used for different applications. Solid ant bait is available in powder or granule form. Solid ant bait works well indoors or outdoors. It can also be applied in the path of trailing ants or placed directly on suspected nests. Solid ant bait that is used far from an ant’s nest requires foraging ants to carry it back to their nest before consumption and can often be more trouble for the ants than it’s worth.
Liquid ant bait is the best bait to use. Ants prefer a liquid to a solid because solid bait can’t be digested before transporting it back to the nest. Liquid ant bait allows for ants to ingest the bait and carry it back to the nest without having to process it further. That leaves them to immediately distribute it directly to the rest of the colony and the queen. Liquid ant bait will typically be more effective and provide the desired results more quickly than a comparable solid ant bait.
How Does Ant Bait Work?
Image via Flickr by tjabeljan
Ant bait can be distributed in different ways, including ant bait traps, indoor ant traps, solid ant bait, and liquid ant bait. All of these disbursal methods work based on the same principles. Ant bait consists of ingredients that are made to draw ants to the bait and entice them to eat it, and then an underlying insecticide is dispersed throughout the colony to eradicate the ants.
One of the common active ingredients in an effective ant bait is borax. Borax, or sodium tetraborate decahydrate, is a mineral powder that occurs naturally. Borax has been used in the United States since the late 1800s when it became readily available for consumer use.
Borax can now be found in many household items such as cleaners, laundry boosters, eyewashes, toothpaste, and mouthwashes.
Ant baits containing borax are lethal to ants but have a low toxicity level for animals and humans, making them great for use in homes where children and pets live. Borax makes for a very potent bait, killing ants by disrupting their digestive system. It kills ants slowly, making it very useful for eliminating an entire colony, leaving time for foraging ants to consume the bait, bring it back to the colony, and disburse it to the other workers, their young, and the queen.
Ant Bait Application
Finding the source of the ants should always be the first step when using ant bait. When you have established where the ants are coming from, using a liquid form of ant bait is always best when it’s applicable to a specific situation. When it isn’t possible to use liquid ant bait, solid ant bait will still do the job. Ant bait traps should be placed where ants have been observed foraging to be most effective.
Patience is necessary when baiting an ant colony. Depending on the size of the infestation, it could take from 24 hours to 10 days to eliminate the ants. When baiting, you should also avoid using contact-killing insecticide sprays. These types of sprays may kill the ants before they have a chance to take the bait back to the whole colony. Ants.com has all the information you need to know concerning ants and ant bait.