would be best
for select ant
what a pedicel
is and how a
“one node” or
pedicel aids in
of ant species
on the body
shape , size
IPM is used in
4. Ants and
Ants can be a large nuisance in houses, warehouses, restaurants, and just about any
Control becomes difficult when not done exactly as prescribed, and things aren’t
done exactly as they should be.
Repellent pesticides can ruin a treatment strategy but quite opposite, the use of non-
repellent products can be mean the difference between success and failure.
Tempo and other highly repellent products can divide ant colonies, force ants into
unwanted areas and trap ants in undesirable areas of the home.
When the long residual of a pyrethroid is desired it may be best to apply a bifenthrin
spray since bifenthrin at a low label rate is repellent only to termites, and not to ants
(according to the manufacturer with regards to Talstar sprays)
The best solution for ants however is a complex process that involves the use of more
than just a simple "spray" to eliminate them.
5. Ants and Pesticides
For new account startup services and special one-time treatments, the use of a Fipronil based spray like
Termidor along the foundation is recommended, but several other products work well for that purpose.
For areas away from the foundation treatments may be done with a neonicotinoid based product.
•Neonicotinoid products include the active ingredients Imidicloprid, Acetimiprid, and Thiamethoxam.
A more advanced option is the use of a liquid formulation with a dual mode of action. Generally the ideal
product would have a pyrethroid, and a neonicotinoid active ingredient in the formulation.
•Products like Bithor SC, Transport Mikron, Transport GHP, and Temprid SC have this type of dual action as recommended. At
the the lowest label rate these products should not have a high enough repellency to effect control.
6. Ants and Pesticides
Outside dusts such as DeltaDust should be used in moderation, and not broadcasted so as to create an issue with their repellency.
In cases where their use may pose a threat to control they should not be used.
There are many types of granular ant baits used in lawns and gardens, but two primary types seem to work the best.
The first of which, boron based baits, are made by adding boric acid to ground corn, almonds, or other carrier agents
•These include Mother Earth Granules, Niban granules, and several other brands. Since they are stomach poisons they must be eaten to cause insect death, and their
mode of action makes it unlikely that ingestion of the small amounts used would cause any harm to the environment or non-target pests.
The second type of granule includes abamectin based poisons that block the neurotransmitter gama aminobutyric acid.
•Feeding and egg laying stops in insects, and death occurs after several days. These baits include Advance 375a and Ascend granules. When used in sub lethal doses
abamectin has been shown to limit reproductive rates of ant queens.
7. Ants and Pesticides
Interior treatments are done in several
different ways, with techniques and
styles that are easily combined.
The first approach is liquid pesticide
Liquid pesticides are best applied
inside as a crack and crevice treatment.
•Broadcast treatments are very unreliable, ill
advised, and can be unsafe as well as ineffective.
On the contrary however crack and crevice
treatments have a higher level of safety because
of the low amount of pesticide use, and can be
more effective thanks to the precise nature of
this type of application.
The targeted application of dusts and gel
baits in addition to crack and crevice
treatments ensures a higher level of
In some cases the use of dusts and baits
alone can be effective. Liquid treatments
should be used only when necessary.
Baits can be used in areas along trails,
but a good rule is to use them close to
the ground or an ant entry point.
This will slow the ants climb up the
walls, or into other areas making them
less of an eyesore. On the contrary
however, ant bait place along ceilings
will force ants to trail up walls and other
items to reach the bait.
9. Ant Species and Techniques
The center section of an ant’s body that separates the abdomen from the thorax is referred to as
The pedicel has either one or nodes that protrude from the top of it.
Ants can be separated into two primary types with other classifications grouping them into
more complex sub groups.
Most structure infesting ants will have one node with the exception of a few two node ant
10. One Node: Argentine Ants
• Argentine ants are the most common species found in the United States in areas
of moderate weather. They have large colonies that intermingle with other
colonies on the property allowing for the sharing resources.
• Control of these ants can be difficult because the large super connected colonies
will infest the inside of the house connected to several different queens outside
with most of the colony still out in the yard.
• Argentine ant control should be well thought out before the treatment begins
and the property prepared with the customer's cooperation.
12. One Node: Argentine Ants
Lawn watering should be adjusted to
alter the property in manner that lowers
ant intrusion into the structure.
•When a lawn is too wet ants can be
•When a lawn is too dry ants will come
inside land looking for water.
As the seasons change lawn watering
should be adjusted to match.
Likewise the treatments should change
throughout the year to match the
changes in the ant colonies behavior
and relative size.
When starting an ant service in the
summer lowering the ant population is
the priority, but a treatment in the
spring also involves limiting
•As argentine ants are killed by
pesticides issues associated with their
control arise from their ability to
quickly replace lost workers.
•Therefore control in the months where
their reproduction is high can be
greatly increased by the use of
abamectin based baits outside.
•The opposite is true in the winter
however, ants do little foraging
therefore they wouldn't take very
much if any back to the nest, and if
they did it would have little effect since
their rates of reproduction are much
13. One Node: Argentine Ants
As the seasons change argentine ants
can be found in most areas outside,
but the bulk of the population tends
to change locations with the changing
In the cold months argentine ants will
move the colonies closer to the
structure, and as it starts to get warm
ants move more out into the yard,
and by summer most ants can be
found everywhere on a property
from the house to the fence line.
Over watering or under watering
lawns creates similar issues with too
much water constantly forcing ants
out of the ground, and not enough
water creates a need that must be met
either by foraging from fountains,
pools, leaking sprinklers, or even
heading inside of the home.
Argentine ants tend to be more of an
outside pest therefore a majority of
their control is done from outside.
Most of the colony will be outside of
the house with a colony type that
almost never moves a colony inside.
With the external nature of the
colonies existence and only about
three percent of the ant population
ever leaving the nest, the foundation
treatment outside becomes a large
part of their control and prevention.
Repellent products therefore are an ill
advised solution and outside baits
become a very important piece to the
complete control plan.
14. One Node:
Odorous house ants are closely related to argentine ants
but their control is much more complicated.
They can and often do nest inside of walls, shiplap ceilings
and other interior areas.
This makes their control very difficult since the source of
infestation is usually hidden.
Odorous house ant will also have colonies with multiple
queens and multiple satellite colonies.
•This behavioral trait, referred to as budding makes it even harder to
control them since a lost queen won't collapse the colony and lost workers
are quickly replenished.
Seeking out and finding colonies whenever possible should
be a priority when trying to control or eradicate them.
16. One Node:
Wall voids with a known or suspected colony can be treated with a
foam machine and an appropriate non repellent pesticide.
Dusts should never be used for these ants because the dusts act
repellent and force ants into other areas of the structure.
Likewise repellent pesticides such as pyrethrum will also cause
colonies to move or divide.
While the use of insect growth regulators seems appropriate, and
would logically slow budding, their use is not recommended.
•Nygard which would seem to be adequate, acts as a repellent to odorous house
ants, and in many cases causes more issues than it resolves.
The best process for control is the use of crack and treatments in
infested areas, and localized gel bait placements.
17. One Node: Odorous House Ants
• Odorous house ants can easily be distinguished from other closely related ant species because of their potent odor when crushed.
• The smell is said to resemble rotten coconut.
• Under a microscope more obvious visual cues can be noted.
• They have the same globular anus as other closely related ant species
• The spiked node on their abdomen is usually hidden against the thorax whereas it can be easily seen in the other closely related species.
• They swarm with flying alates leaving the nest around the late spring.
• The swarmers do not have the obvious smell when crushed therefore when looking at flying ants the smell cannot be used as a factor for species determination.
18. One Node: Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants are a common type of ant that is divided into many different sub species.
Of those sub species only a few infest homes typically.
Carpenter ants typically live in trees where they create hollow cavities in wood to make their nests and satellite colonies.
These satellite colonies however can sometimes be found in the structural and non-structural lumber of homes.
A key sign of infestation is the frass that can be found in areas of infestation.
•Found among the wood shavings from the ant colony many times are ant heads and other left over body parts. These parts are discarded from the colony and
can be easily distinguished from termite droppings which are smooth with evenly sized and exactly shaped fragments.
20. One Node:
Carpenter ant workers are polymorphic which means that they can be found in different
Likewise they have a globular anus, which separates them from several other species of ant
Under a microscope a ring of yellow hairs can be noted at the end of their abdomen.
They have no stingers but in many cases are large enough to bite
Their control inside of a house may involve injecting galleries where satellite colonies are
located, treating the outside perimeter, outside trees, and locally treating inside hot spots.
Several companies make granular carpenter ant baits for outside use, and liquid treatments
can be done using appropriate non repellents.
Integrated pest management practices include the trimming of trees that are touching the
house, and removing dead trees from the property.
These IPM measures are a necessity in many cases and can be the difference between long
term control and small, even unnoticeable changes.
21. One Node:
Velvety Tree Ants were traditionally found in rural places and were not a
typical problem within structures.
However, Velvety tree ants are becoming more common in urban
They do not prefer the inside of a house. In fact most inside infestations clear
up on their own without any treatment.
Outside they can be found under bark mulch, all over trees, and in dead logs.
When crushed they have a similar odor to odorous house ants.
Their bodies have an obvious change in color between the abdomen and
thorax with the pedicel usually an orange color.
The abdomen itself has small hairs on top that resemble velvet which is why it
has the name that it does.
•The abdomen therefore has a velvety appearance.
22. One Node:
Products with a dual mode of action such as Temprid or Bithor are most appropriate
and with cases such as heavy bark mulch these products can be broadcasted with the
use of power sprayer.
Treatments should not just focus on the ants themselves but should include the use
of systemic insecticides that kill honeydew producing insects since they are the
primary food source of this species
The Temprid label allows for its use at a rate lower than what is listed, and cutting it
down to a rate of. 375% which is 4 ml per gallon is appropriate.
Because the treatment involves soaking the area, when the water evaporates a similar
amount of pesticide will be left on the ground as if the area were treated using a
backpack sprayer at a higher rate.
However, the treatment will penetrate deep into areas of mulch, and ground cover as
a result of the heavy spray and large amount of water used by comparison.
Abamectin based baits, and boron based baits make the job complete when applying
them outside as needed.
23. 2 Node: Fire Ants and Harvester Ants
Many of the ant species with two nodes have similar characteristics with the exception
of a few.
In the case of many species such as fire ants and harvester ants they prefer to be
In rare cases with fire ants, colonies and reproductives can be found inside of wall
voids with accumulated water, flooded basements, and areas of water damage.
In many cases roof leaks, and damaged plumbing are discovered after a swarm of ants
flies from the area.
26. 2 Node: Fire
Their control outside is done by treating mounds individually then applying a general
perimeter spray, followed by the application of baits.
Many companies make special fire ant baits, but Advance 375a and the full size Niban G (or
generic) baits are appropriate.
•The granules of Niban FG are generally considered too small for these larger ants with the exception of
Southern Fire Ants which are smaller, and a few other species that feed on smaller granules.
Fire ants workers usually have two rounded nodes on their pedicel, and they have stingers.
The Red Imported Fire Ant is red as the name suggests and very large compared to other ant
The southern fire ant is much smaller with the head and thorax red to brown and the
abdomen mostly black.
Harvester ants are red like Imported Fire Ants, and also large, but can be easily be
distinguished from them by noting the hairs on the underside of the ant workers faces.
•It can be said that they have “beards”
27. 2 Node: Pharaoh
Pharaoh ants are a lot like odorous house ants with how they are controlled, but aren't as
easily moved from place to place.
They are also much smaller than most other ant species with a relatively small size of around
2mm in length.
They have stingers but don't use them.
Budding is normal with this species and they can have several hundred reproductives per
colony, but growth regulators can and should be used on them to limit reproduction.
Pharaoh ants can nest in walls and prefer to nest especially close to water sources.
Areas behind baseboards in bathrooms where humidity might make an area attractive are
common nest locations, but also, in wall voids, and even inside of furniture.
Inside of houses they prefer warm humid conditions (80-86 degrees, and 80% humidity).
29. 2 Node: Pharaoh Ants
Like with Odorous house ants
the use of repellent pesticides
increases the likelihood
Treatments should always be
done with non-repellent
pesticides, and selective
applications of baits, and dusts.
Repellent pesticides can force
ants to go into hiding while
colonies are moved, and return
as a much larger colony, or even
multiple colonies in reaction to
Exterior treatments should not
be overlooked, and should be
done in many cases.
These ants can nest outside
close to the house, and can
sometimes be found under
weed covers with workers
foraging the adjacent rooms.
31. Integrated Pest
First and foremost, ant behavior varies depending on moisture.
Overwatered lawns and under watered lawns are of concern for many
species of ants.
Leaking pipes, roof leaks, and any moisture related structural defect can
lead to problems relating to any ant species.
Proper lawn watering is very important.
•However, in many cases homeowners prefer the simple, incorrect idea of "the more water the
better." This often times forces ant colonies close to the foundation, or inside of the house.
Water is such an offense to ants that in many cases ants can be seen carrying
eggs as they leave an area just saturated.
Ants will quite often enter homes as a result of overwatering outside, but
likewise a lawn that is too dry will also force ants inside.
•It is often seen on the driest days of the year when ants scour the inside of a structure in search of
what's missing outside; water.
32. Integrated Pest Management Strategies
Gaps and cracks that can provide ant entry should be sealed when possible.
While weep holes around windows should treated with an appropriate pesticide product, other
cracks and gaps around window frames can be sealed with appropriate caulking.
Cracks in brick and concrete can be treated but for long term control those gaps and cracks should be
On the inside of a structure, countertops should be sealed along joints, and gaps, with particular
attention around sinks and toilets for areas that water or other wetness may accumulate.
33. Integrated Pest
Particular attention should be paid to any recurring issue that ants seem attracted to.
If an ant problem continues with ants returning to a dripping faucet, or continuous
food source such as dishes in the sink, those conducive conditions should be
Care should be taken on all ant inspections to find these issues that should be
Dripping sprinklers, spilled food in cupboards, loose candy stashes and many other
things can contribute to an ongoing ant infestation.
In many houses things fall behind refrigerators, stoves, and other items that do not
get moved regularly. Checking, and cleaning these areas are always a necessity.
Treating these areas may also be appropriate, but not always necessary.