The Ant Menace

The Ant Menace

The Ant Menace

Ants are everywhere! An estimated one quadrillion (that’s 17 zeros!) of these amazing insects are on the planet at any one time. Put another way, they make up a large proportion of the animal biomass – up to 25% in tropical environments. There are an estimated 22,500 species globally, but only around12,500 have been identified.

Ants have been able to exploit virtually every environment on the planet (excluding Antartica, which is ironic given the name)! Their success is attributed to the social organisation of their colonies, which allows them to efficiently exploit changing food resources and colonise new enviroments. It is this flexibility in diet and adaptability to new enviroments that have made ants among the worst invasive species, causing environmental species, causing environmental headaches around the world.

For homeowners and business owners, ants are not really associated with any disease transmission, although they can cause some problems in hospitals and health establishments. However some species are certainly capable of nasty stings and bites, which can be painful and may cause allergic reactions. But for most, ants are just a plain nuisance and are actually considered the number one pest, primarily due to the difficulty in gaining control.

Ant control can be difficult – but is not impossible! Until relatively recently, pest professionals may have been able to blame the lack of suitable products for their inability to gain control. However, this is certainly not the case now. With the arrival of the next generation of sugar based ant baits, (gels as well as liquids) and the useof non-repellent insecticide sprays, the pest professional now has the tools to control almost any ant problem.

The key point for ant control is to avoid the use of pyrethroid sprays. Although these will kill ants that contact the spray, they tend to be repellent. The result is that the ants often avoid treated areas and the problem is then moved elsewhere on the property, solving nothing. Sometimes it can actually make it worse, as nests may move to a new location and indeed the queens in some species increase egg production when disturbed in this way. Furthermore, the repellent action is weak and is generally of short duration. It’s not surprising that the use of pyrethroid sprays often result in callbacks, and why some pest professionals avoid ant jobs.

However, with the products available now, Pegasus has no need to turn down an ant job. As with any pest treatment, a full inspection is needed to determine the full extent of the problem.

Correct identification of the species present and location/size of the nest(s) are essential before planning the control strategy and deciding on the choice of products. Get in touch with the pest control experts at Pegasus Environmental for more tips on dealing with the ant menace.