Two ant products from Sumitomo Chemical arm pest managers with the tools for gaining control of event the most difficult pest ant species.

The arrival of Synergy Pro Ant Granules in 2016 provided the industry with a very different ant control product. With two different food granules, each containing two different actives (hydramethylnon and pyriproxyfen), here was an outdoor ant bait capable of delivering colony control on a wide range of species. Sumitomo Chemical were certainly expecting it to open up new opportunities for pest professionals, but have been pleasantly surprised by the feedback and how pest managers have quickly incorporated Synergy Pro into their core product range.

Such was the case with Adam Donnelly, from On Guard Pest Control on the Sunshine Coast. “When I arrive on a job, especially when it’s a combined termite inspection and pest treatment, I will sprinkle Synergy Pro ant bait around the perimeter of the building and other areas of outdoor ant activity.

“The bait is easy to spot (main picture, above), so tracking bait movement along the trail gives me clues to potential nest locations inside and outside the home – areas I may have to target when I carry out the pest treatment later.

“I then carry out the termite inspection. This gives the ants a good two hours to take the bait. I can then carry out the perimeter spray treatment knowing it won’t impact the bait performance as the bait is already back in the nest.”

Synergy Pro was developed using Distance Plus ant bait as a base – a corn grit bait containing only an IGR (pyriproxyfen). Distance Plus delivers complete colony control on target ant species, but containing an IGR, it can take a number of weeks or so to get control. However, its safety profile means it is a great option in sensitive accounts.

“I used to use Distance ant bait from Sumitomo, and I still do if there are animals around, but Synergy Pro with its two actives and faster performance has become a standard part of my ant control treatments,” said Mr Donnelly.

“The combination of Synergy Pro outdoors and the perimeter spray treatment allows me to offer a 12 month warranty on ants inside the home.”

This combination of perimeter spray and Synergy Pro is proving a popular combination, one that delivers performance and financial benefits.

Duncan Priest from Pest Rid in Cairns observed, “With the arrival of non-repellent sprays, we actually moved away from baiting. For perimeter treatments against a wide range of species, non-repellent sprays were great. However, as our experience with non-repellents increased, we realised that they probably weren’t the best solution in all situations.

“Our main species in Cairns is the coastal brown ant. Often infestations can be quite severe. With non-repellent sprays we found that once we moved away from the perimeter treatment and started to treat larger areas, the treatment became quite expensive and generally it only suppressed the population.

“For major infestations, we used to allow for a second visit, two to three weeks after the initial treatment, to hit them again. This wasn’t very cost effective, both in terms of time and amount of product used.

“However, with the arrival of Synergy Pro, it has changed the way we deal with coastal brown infestations. Just sprinkling the bait over the active areas, we get control, not just suppression.

“It certainly rolls them over quick, which is probably due to the combination of two actives in the bait, hydramethylnon for the kill and pyriproxyfen to ensure colony control.

“Synergy Pro has given us the confidence to drop the follow up treatment on difficult ant jobs, significantly improving profitability.”

Although primarily an outdoor ant bait, the granular formulation makes Synergy Pro easy to apply without mess and provides flexibility to apply in a wide range of situations. Being attractive to a broad spectrum of ants, pest managers are now tackling some of the more difficult control species, even indoors.

“I use Synergy Pro on green ants in lawns, but they’re pretty easy to kill,” continued Mr Donnelly. “But it has now become my go to bait for white-footed house ants, it’s certainly better than anything else. I just sprinkle a good amount of the bait by active trails and the ants do the rest.”

Mr Priest uses Synergy Pro inside and outside the home. “Sometimes the coastal browns nest inside the home, in areas such as wall voids. It’s difficult to deal with such nests, as they don’t really take the gel baits. By using Synergy Pro in bait stations we now have a quick and easy way to deal with these problem sites as well.”