Hymenopthor bait from Ensystex is registered for use against all ant and cockroach species, making it an all-round performer for pest managers. 

Ensystex’s regional director Steve Broadbent advises, “Hymenopthor Ultra Granular Ant and Cockroach Bait is proving exceptionally successful due to the use of fipronil with Ensystex’s Liquid Oil Phase Release Technology.”

Hymenopthor Ultra uses Advanced Bait Technology to produce a complex blend of several protein, oil and sugar sources to target and eliminate the widest range of ant species, as well as all species of cockroaches, making it the only professional bait registered for all ant and cockroach species.

“Whilst a particular ant species will have a primary food preference, within any colony we may see this primary preference later replaced by a different food requirement e.g. a colony with a primary preference for sugars will at some time change to feeding in preference on oils or proteins. It is well documented in the scientific literature that ants vary their feeding behaviour according to food characteristics, environmental conditions and, since they are social insects, to the colony’s requirements.”

Recent research has shown this occurs through secretion of the biogenic amine serotonin (5-HT), which is involved in the control and modulation of the colonies feeding preferences, and presumably regulated by the queen. Cellular analysis of the ant’s alimentary canal reveals serotonin immunoreactive processes in the foregut (oesophagus, crop and proventriculus) and the frontal and suboesophageal ganglia, suggesting a reason for the taste preference changes observed in feeding worker ants. It is noteworthy that these receptors are at the start of the digestive process and therefore will more strongly influence what the ant chooses to eat. (Serotonin receptors are not present in the mid-gut or hindgut.)

“This behavioural aspect of ant feeding makes it essential to have a bait that can target the colony at all stages through the provision of sugars, oils, and proteins as required. It also means the bait can be used against all species, regardless of their primary food preferences,” continued Mr Broadbent.

“Species like the white-footed house ant (Technomyrmex albipes) and the black ant (Ochetellus glaber) are primarily sugar-feeders, other species such as coastal brown ants (Pheidole megacephala) are primarily oil-feeders and still others, such as the meat ants (Iridomyrmex spp.) and the Pharaoh’s ant (Monomorium pharaonis), are primarily protein feeders.

“With Hymenopthor Ultra, professionals have one bait that will control all ant species as well as all cockroach species. The Liquid Oil Phase Release of the fipronil provides the killing power of the product giving results equal to, or better than, those of gel baits.

“As a granular bait, efficacy is enhanced by the ant’s feeding behaviour. Worker ants are mostly liquid feeders and cannot ingest solid baits. So they use their legs and mouthparts to carry the bait granules back to the nest for the larvae to digest and feed to the colony. With Liquid Oil Phase Release technology the workers are also able to feed directly on the Hymenopthor Ultra and receive a toxic dose of the active, as well as feeding later on the pre-digested liquid from the larvae. This gives a double mode of action to ensure reliable colony elimination.”

Mr Broadbent also noted that, “Various published scientific studies show cockroaches have an exceptionally high preference for solid based foods, with bread ranking higher than most cockroach gels as a preferred food. This explains the high preference we experienced in our trials, with the cockroaches readily and aggressively feeding on the breakfast cereal base used in Hymenopthor Ultra with results and speed of kill better than those achieved with gel cockroach baits. The Liquid Oil Phase Release ensures the fipronil is readily digested by the cockroaches, and Hymenopthor Ultra satisfies their preference for a solid cereal based diet. Results were particularly good when targeting the larger Periplaneta spp. cockroaches, especially the nymphal stages, the most difficult life-stage to control.”

Mr Broadbent concluded that, “Consequently Hymenopthor Ultra is opening up new opportunities for professional pest managers when dealing with both of these pest species.”