The following article is from PestWest and written By Dr. Stuart Mitchell (speaker at the New York Pest Expo 11-8-2012)

Tramp ant species are perpetrators of structural invasions. Over 40 tramp ant species are held as infesting suspects. Individual species have individual modus operandi (behavioral attributes as well as preferred nesting and food preferences).

Arresting ant infestations can be a challenge, but with some good detective work, not at all impossible.

  • ␣ Inspect to detect conducive conditions, foraging trails, and ant colonies. Be critical of structural guideline orientations (utility lines, cracks, walls, fences, etc.).
  • Identify to detect the ant species. Species biology and behavior will assist in apprehending infestations.
  • Counsel the client to detect and correct structural deficiencies to prevent further structural invasions (cultural control).
  • Apply appropriately labeled insecticides and non-chemical controls (physical, mechanical, and biorational) to detected infestations. Non-chemical controls include exclusion materials like caulk, correcting moisture intrusion deficiencies, and elimination of vegetation and debris near or in-contact with the structure.
  • Follow-up to detect modifications to the control program as well as any new pest suspects. Good detective work ensures perpetual client satisfaction.

Seasonal attribution of suspect ant pests includes the following:

  • Spring: suspect ants seek protein for brood development.
  • Summer: suspect ants forage for honeydew (located on plants and ornamentals).
  • Fall: honeydew-producing insect populations diminish. Aqueous carbohydrate baits become an effective substitute for honeydew feeding ant intruders.
  • Winter: indoor ant species infestations during cold weather indicate a colony within the heated structural environment. Determine what ants are feeding upon, but nutritionally balanced baits (carbohydrates and proteins) will generally be quite effective at arresting these notorious insect pests.

For more information like this be sure to come to the 10th edition of the New York Pest Expo!

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