Stinging bites, damaged documents, ruined food and the incessant annoying are just some of the problems ants cause us. Be it a home or a commercial building, eradication of ants is a necessity. Thankfully, with a pinch of patience, a hint of knowledge and a soupcon of removal methods these critters can be permanently removed.
Reclaiming Your Space!
- Find out the type of ant species that is infesting your space. Generally, it will be one of the following cases:
- The ant species lives outdoor but forays inside a home to look for food.
- The ant species lives indoors and also forages for food inside.
- For the majority of the year, the ant species nests outdoors but when the weather rainy/ stormy, they find shelter and sustenance in homes.
- Once you know the kind of ant plaguing your home or office, you can use an effective tactic to deal with them.
Common Ant-Hand You’re Dealt
There are 3 types of ant that are most likely to cause you annoyance.
- They are found under rocks, in soil mounds outside which have numerous entrances and spaces in wood.
- These tend to inhabit water pipes, heaters, spaces in walls and shallow mounds in the dirt.
- From window frames to firewood to hollow doors to tree stumps and fences, these can be found anywhere that is wooden.
All three types love to munch on protein-rich food and sweets.
Ant Insecticide Bait & Gel – The Root Components
An ant insecticide for indoors is a bait that can be kept in closets, wardrobes, attics, near windows and any crawl gap. They are the best solution to get rid of ants as they target entire colonies and offer long-term protection. As said before, baits can be placed anywhere ants forage like below:
The ants will eat some of the bait and carry some to the nest. Slowly, the entire population of ants will be feasting on the bait which will lead to elimination. “It may take a few days” for the whole infestation to die, but a visible difference will be seen fast enough.
What Are Bait Ant Insecticide For Plants Or Home?
These are generally products that contain an active chemical which attracts and kills ants on consumption. Some come pre-packed in bait stations, and others are in liquid forms that need to be poured out. Gels, granules and solid blocks are the other formulations of baits. Bait that doesn’t need to be touched is considered safer as there is no direct exposure to harmful ingredients. The active ingredient is a pesticide or insecticide: a slow killing poison. Its repeated use can build up resistance in ants. Therefore, it is advised to use different types of baits that are made of dissimilar insecticides for the best solution.
Varieties Of Active Chemical In Baits
Given below are the chemicals that are used to create baits for ants. They are divided as per the species of ants they affect.
Argentine Ant Insecticide:
When you are troubled by House Ants, then boric acid or borax blended with sugar is the ideal answer. Borate-containing baits can also be used for grease ants. The lure draws the foraging ants which then take back the poisoned food to the nest, thus eradicating the queen and the colony. They are not the best ant insecticide for lawn as they are “toxic to plants.”This type of bait has low toxicity and need to be ingested to be poisonous to us. Boric acid is not absorbed through the skin. Consumed borates have proven to reduce the sperm count in lab animals.
Carpenter Ant Insecticides:
An active ingredient found in baits targeted for carpenter ants, they are mostly meant for use inside homes. They come in packs of gels and liquids. Some of the most common pesticides in this category are:
- They can be absorbed by the human skin and therefore have “moderate acute toxicity.” They have a negative effect on the nervous system, and long- term exposure of imidacloprid decreases sperm count (seen in lab animals)
Fire Ant Insecticides:
- Growth Regulators:
These chemicals inhibit the growth of ants and stop them from developing to the next stage. The two insecticides that come within it are:
- To humans, they show “low acute and longer-term toxicity.” Be careful when throwing away these baits as they are toxic to all life found in water.
Available as granules or pellets, they are effective against fire ants. Low acute toxicity and harmful impact on reproduction at higher doses are seen in humans.
These baits can be bought as granules. Like most other insecticides they have low acute toxicity.
Like indoxacarb, they are offered in granulated form. They have shown to be poisonous to the liver and are known as “probable carcinogen.”
For All Three Ant Species Insecticide
When you need carpenter ant insecticides that also work on fire and house ants, then hydramethylnon is apt. They came packed as granules, gels or liquids. Like borates, they are not absorbed by our skin and have low acute toxicity. An average dose of it can hamper reproduction and it poisonous to fetuses.
Also called abamectin, these granular baits have a high level of “toxicity in pure form.” But the concentration that is used to kill ants, 0.01%, has little toxicity. The chemical affects the nervous system and a developing fetus even in small doses. It is not absorbed by the human skin.
This active ingredient works on numerous ant species. It is sold as gel, liquid, impregnable substance and granule. Though it cannot be absorbed by the skin, it can be poisonous when ingested. It negatively impacts the nervous system and is another “Possible carcinogen” as categorized by US EPA.
Ant Insecticide For Indoors – What Not To Use
Ant foggers and insecticide aerosol sprays are not advised for use because they are easy to inhale which increases the chances of harm. Furthermore, these pesticides leave a residue all over a home. If there are appliances inside the dwelling that use gas, then there is a risk of explosion. Foggers should also not be used outside because they target beneficial wildlife like bees, too.
These are found in aerosols and require dilution with water before use. Once poured on ant hills, they kill the insects immediately right where they are and not once they reach the nest. It is why they are not useful in eliminating whole populations. Besides the chemical, they contain a synergist (piperonyl butoxide) which increases the lethality of the insecticide. Some active ingredients that come under this category are:
These ant killing insecticides have shown to result in asthma attacks and allergic responses due to inhaled exposure. They also contaminate surfaces.
Organophosphates and carbamates:
These insecticides should not be used at all. They are hazardous to children and were called back from market seventeen years back. Some chemicals that come within the group are “chlorpyrifos and diazinon.” Other ingredients like DDVP and malathion proved to be possible carcinogens and neurotoxin even in small amounts.
Aerosol Ant Insecticides You Can Use
Botanicals are natural substances that are sold in aerosol forms. They are perfect for repelling ants that linger around plants. They do not contaminate surfaces but can cause an issue after inhalation. A few botanicals are:
- Neem oil
- Thyme oil
- Eugenol – clove oil
- Phenylethyl propionate
- Linalool – mint and citrus plants
- Allyl isothiocyanate – a garlic extract
- Capsicum oleoresin – hot pepper extract
Precaution Is The Rule of thumb
Some steps should always be taken when handling insecticides to keep everyone safe.
- Read the instructions on the product and follow them to the T. Those rules are law and you are liable for any negative consequences.
- Keep small children and pets safe by keeping all ant baits in areas that cannot be reached by them such as closed crawl spaces or inside a wall.
- Do not keep or store bait where there is chance of food contamination.
- Don’t sweep off the ants when they begin to eat the bait. Leave them be so they can take the poison back to the colony.
- When all ants are eradicated, throw away the bait as instructed to prevent inviting new ants.
Avoid The Root Itself – Indoor Ant Prevention
No matter what control measures you use, the only foolproof way is to avoid ants taking root in your home. Implement tactics that disrupt the life cycle of ants and kills them in their colonies. Your enemy is not just the critters you see crawling; it is the hidden massive colony. So give time to the insecticide filled bait you have set out to be distributed appropriately. It will ensure that no sign of ants is left inside your home.