Step by step instructions to Utilize Insect poisons

Ant insecticides can be used to control ants in the home, garden, and landscape. Some are designed to be applied to individual ant mounds and some to be broadcast. The most effective methods include the use of fast-acting baits and drenching insecticides that contact the ants nesting within the mound.

Baits are a common, low-cost pest control method that can be applied to inaccessible or difficult-to-reach areas like plant beds and along the bases of tree trunks. These baits contain a range of insecticides and other materials that attract worker ants to the bait. The workers transfer small portions of the bait back to the colony where it is taken by other workers, larvae and queens.

Many ant bait formulations have been enhanced to provide longer residual control. Some granular baits also contain water-storing crystals (hydrogels) that swell when wet and absorb hundreds of times their weight in water. These products are useful for controlling ants in areas with limited water supplies.

Alternatively, ant baits can be broadcast over the landscape and lawn to protect foraging ants and young queens nesting in areas that cannot be treated by other methods. These granules are typically applied using a lawn fertilizer spreader and should be watered in to ensure thorough coverage of the targeted area.

Broadcast Insecticide Treatments

Most granular insecticide treatments contain bifenthrin, cyfluthrin, cypermethrin or lambda-cyhalothrin. Typically, these granules will control fire ants for about four to eight weeks after application. They can be applied with a lawn fertilizer spreader or a garden sprayer.

This approach is more labor intensive and can use more insecticide than other methods. However, it can be an effective strategy if you have many ant mounds in an area or if you prefer to preserve native ants.

Insecticides are a common control technique to eliminate ant infestations around the home, particularly in urban environments. However, concerns about the environmental impact of insecticides have led to a shift in pest management practice.

One of the most serious issues associated with insecticide use is the potential for runoff and contamination of water from spray applications. A study comparing bifenthrin and fipronil run-off from residential homes following standard spray treatments Ogge during 2007 and 2008 found that the insecticides were contaminating water in urban watersheds and contributing to pollution of surface water.

Another concern related to ant insecticides is that they can be toxic to non-target organisms. For example, insecticides are not recommended for spraying around garbage cans or around landscaping plants that harbor honeydew-producing insects.

A number of alternative pest management approaches have been developed in an effort to reduce the ecological risks associated with ant insecticides, including a variety of spray-free zones. Other strategies are to limit the use of liquid broadcast insecticides in non-agricultural outdoor areas, and to minimize the amount of EPA-registered insecticide that is used for control purposes.

As a result, there has been an increasing interest in the use of “natural” products with reported repellent and/or insecticidal activity. This has included essential oils as repellents and insecticides; hydrogels; and pheromones.