The team at Syngenta share a few tips about ant identification and treatment.

The key to ant control lies in proper identification and thorough treatments – here Syngenta offers a little known tip to help with ant identification and four effective options for ant control.

Ants can be extremely difficult to control because they are resilient and adept at finding niches where they can thrive. One key to successful ant control is proper identification. Once you know which ant species you are trying to control, it is easier to put together an ant management program. The following outline should help you identify the ant species that are often the biggest pests for customers.

Ant identification is not always easy – size, colour, location on site and their behaviours are good starting points to narrow things down and with a good hand lens you can also use body structure to help. The segment between an ant’s thorax and abdomen is called a pedicel, and depending on the species, will have either one or two segments called nodes (main picture, above).

Ant species with only one node include:

  • Argentine ants
  • Carpenter ants
  • Crazy ants
  • Ghost ants
  • Odorous house ants
  • White-footed ants.

Ant species with two nodes include:

  • Fire ants
  • Pharaoh ants
  • Little black ants
  • Pavement ants.

Once identification has been confirmed, there are four key elements in an effective ant program:

  1. Carry out a thorough inspection. Inspect for ants both indoors and outdoors. Pay close attention to foliage, exterior cracks, gaps, entryways and wet areas that could be a source of food or water.
  2. Indoor treatments. It is sometimes necessary to treat trails of foraging ants indoors, especially around doors and windows. These trails and their surrounding areas can be spot-treated with Demand CS or Arilon insecticides. If trails are located indoors, Optigard Ant or Advion Ant Gel baits can be used in cracks and crevices in areas where ants have been seen.
  3. Outdoor baiting and spot treatments. Offer an alternative food source by applying Optigard Ant or Advion Ant Gel near the foraging trails outside a structure. For spot treatments, where the nest can be located, drench ant colonies with a liquid insecticide such as Arilon. Inspect landscape ornamentals that are close to the home, where the ants may be feeding on scale insects or aphids. Treat if required.
  4. Perimeter application. Demand CS and Arilon insecticides are effective as perimeter treatments, which are helpful when ants are trailing from an adjacent structure. When applied at recommended rates, Demand CS creates a complete control band around a structure by releasing more than 10,000 microcaps per square inch of treated surface. Arilon is also effective as a large-volume application. It can be diluted and applied at high volumes to provide comprehensive coverage, resulting in more thorough control.

By following these four steps and utilising the broad range of products offered by Syngenta, you can win the battle against invading nuisance ants.

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