Ants can be a tough critter to control and truthfully who wants to just control them when they’re scurrying all over your kitchen counter tops? Most of us reach for the spray and hose em down like we were putting out a fire and boy that does feel real good. The problem however is that you’re really only whacking such a small percentage and the resilient ant colony simply reroutes around your barrier and shows up sometime later which is much to your dismay.
This is probably most tempting when it comes to acrobatic ants because they are famous for marching in such straight lines along a corner, eave or wire pausing only a second or two to communicate with others of the colony who are heading back the way they came. All those ants in a nice thick line make even the worst of shots feel like champs as they mow them down with their oily slick rapid fire of Raid or off the counter Rid a bug. Don’t get me wrong, I like dead bugs but what I don’t like is the sense of false security that comes along with an empty can of spray and no results to show for it.
The acrobatic ant is usually no problem if you handle them correctly. You can use their habit of walking along these well established trails against them and with less chemicals.
#1 Since you have this small percentage of the colony right in front of you let them do the work and carry your lethal dose of pesticide back to the nest (wherever that may be) and spread the product for you. For this approach I simply use a non repellant such as Termidor sc which won’t kill them today but will definitely put a number on ALL their days. To entice them even more to the area I use gel baits which causes them to ‘recruit’ more ants from the colony and in so doing those ants walk on my barrier and this process speeds up into hyper
mode. You could use baits alone but these colonies are usually pretty large and you don’t always get total elimination at least right away. Arilon is another fine product that works well for this approach.
#2 For super-sized trails I always look to modify their walk ways. The reason is that there are usually many trails and some are not so easy or safe to spray. These trails often use a bridge such as a fence line or tree branch that connects to the home. Spraying even with your non repellant is not gonna last real long on a galvanized fence pole or tree branch after a rain. Modifying this bridge and forcing them to use an area that is more barrier friendly and will sustain the spray better is always more desirable. The ants will build up in numbers along the break until they figure a way around, under or through and if you inspect wisely you’ll have that area covered and the ants won’t even know what hit them.
I shot a little video today of a good example where a pair of snippers actually did my treatment more good than another 10 gallons of spray could have. Try this approach the next time you have gobs of ants ransacking a home and I’ll bet you’ll be much more pleased with the results.