An example of how Bayer’s Amplify training program solved an unusual ant problem on a construction site.
The Bayer Pest Management team was recently called upon to solve a very unusual ant problem at a construction site where a new school was being built. It was a problem neither the pest manager nor the construction company had never seen before: ants damaging the cement render on the building, which had not even been finished yet!
It was agreed that the best approach was to go ‘back to the books‘ by employing the best practice procedure as outlined in the Amplify program. Amplify is a free training portal offering Bayer customers pest management training courses that take 30-60 minutes to complete. The Amplify course on ant control outlines a four-step process that should be followed on discovery of an ant infestation: identification, prevention, barrier, and baiting.
Although our particular ant problem was a new situation for all parties concerned, we were quietly confident that if we followed the guidelines outlined in the Amplify program alongside products from the Bayer professional pest control range, we would achieve the desired results and outcomes in a timely fashion.
The first step was to take some samples of the ants down to Bayer’s training centre on the Gold Coast, for identification by industry peers and experts with the use of high powered microscopes. The offending ants were identified as odorous garden ants (Iridomyrmex spp.), protein feeders that will also feed on sugars primarily for moisture content.
As the building was still under construction, treatment to some of the areas of the building needed to be delayed until completion. All the wall, ceiling and underfloor voids were to be treated with Coopex Insecticidal Dusting Powder – the hydrophobic carrier in Coopex protects against moisture, so the products remains active for a long period, which was a big advantage for this treatment. This treatment was to prevent existing or future nesting in confined spaces of the building.
The next step was to carry out an external perimeter treatment in order to create a protective barrier. All potential entry points, the external perimeter and the ground adjacent to the structure was sprayed with a band up to three metres wide. Also treated were any trails and nest entrances found in the adjacent grounds.
Temprid 75 was the product of choice for this application as it offered a dual mode of action, by combining two powerful and effective residual insecticides: beta-cyfluthrin and imidacloprid. The combination of these two actives gives an enhanced effect, delivering much more effective control of pests.
The fourth and final step was to use targeted baiting, in areas that had not been sprayed. After a quick preference test, Maxforce Quantum Liquid Ant Bait proved to be more palatable to the ants than protein-based bait; this could have been for various reasons, but may have been because liquid bait is more palatable during a dry patch in the weather, as was the case at the time of treatment. We knew that Maxforce Quantum is highly palatable, enables fast control, has a sound safety profile and contains up to 99.9% naturally derived ingredients. The liquid ant bait was placed at sites of ant activity on walls where holes had occurred in the cement render, which were on all sides of the building.
This initial treatment proved to be highly successful. A follow up inspection/application was carried out after two weeks, with no sign of ant activity. Completion of the building was no longer delayed and work was undertaken to rectify the cement render.
This particular job is a great example of how, even if you have been in the pest industry for many years, it pays to go back to the books when you are faced with a problem you have never encountered before. Using great educational tools and products such as those from Bayer can help achieve fantastic results and successes for your clients.
Chris Mills, Territory Sales Manager, Bayer Environmental Science