BASF technical development specialist, Dr David Elmouttie, outlines the six unique formulations BASF offers to target pest ant species.

Ants are one of the most prolific commensal pests invading and inhabiting homes, commercial and industrial establishments throughout the world. The capacity of pest ants to reproduce, recolonise and invade structures repeatedly is unsurpassed and has resulted in ants being the pests which results in more treatment call backs than any other pest globally – even more so than termites!

The difficulty in controlling ants has stemmed from their complex social structure, feeding preferences and the chemicals available to pest control operators. As with termites, ants are eusocial insects with colonies containing reproductives, workers and sometimes soldier castes.

Pests with this type of complex social structure can prove difficult to control as only a small portion of a colony is ever directly encountered and therefore treated.

Ants also have distinctive feeding preferences, with some pest species being primarily carbohydrate (sugar) feeders, others being protein feeders whilst others switch between food types depending on specific colony requirements.

The insecticides which pest control operators have been dependent on for many years have also made effective long-term control more difficult. Since the phasing out of organochloride insecticides, pest control operators have become dependent on synthetic pyrethroid insecticides and bait products for ant control. Unfortunately synthetic pyrethroid insecticides tend to be incompatible with bait products due to their repellent nature. Therefore, as a package these products have ultimately resulted in an ineffective solution. Effective control of eusocial insects, such as ants, requires specialised insecticides developed to interact with the pests’ lifecycle and behaviour to ensure colony control. As with termite control, non-repellent insecticides, such as Termidor, provide the most effective solution. These insecticides do not result in behavioural changes and are ultimately passed from individual to individual and throughout the colony – leading to colony elimination.

However, as numerous species of pest ants exist, each of which behave differently, feed on different food sources or utilise a range of environments (inside and outside of structures), effective control can only be achieved when the correct insecticide and formulation combinations are available for use.

BASF has developed the most comprehensive range of non-repellent insecticides for ant control available in Australia, with formulations specifically designed to meet ant feeding preferences and active ingredients developed to work with ant social behaviour to ensure success. Termidor SC is the ‘gold standard’ in external ant control, and BASF have now introduced three new products labeled for ant use to the Australian market – Termidor Foam, Termidor Dry and Goliath liquid ant bait.

Termidor Foam and Termidor Dry provide unsurpassed spot, crack and crevice, harbourage and nest treatments in internal and external situations. As part of the Termidor family, these products are also backed by the trusted Termidor ‘Transfer effect’.

Goliath liquid ant bait provides a highly palatable bait for carbohydrate feeders. The product has been specifically designed as a viscous liquid, building on extensive research, which confirms carbohydrate feeding worker ants prefer liquids over more solid gels. Goliath liquid ant bait also utilises the ‘Transfer effect’ to ensure quick and effective colony elimination.

Completing the comprehensive range of ant solutions from BASF are the internal residual insecticides Phantom SC and Phantom PI, as well as the granular ant bait for protein feeders – Amdro granular ant bait. In combination, this package provides pest control operators with three high quality non-repellent active ingredients and six unique formulations.

So whether your ant problem is internal or external, requires a dust, foam, bait or residual insecticide or you need to target sugar feeders or protein feeders, BASF has the product to do the job right, the first time – making ongoing call backs a thing of the past.

Dr David Elmouttie, Technical Development Specialist, BASF

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