“Sugar ants” & “Grease ants” are common terms used to describe the Pavement ant. It can be so frustrating for homeowners that have issues with them in the spring! The ants usually go marching one by one into a bathroom for water, or into the kitchen searching for food.
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Here are some basics facts to know about these types of ants when trying to control them using over-the-counter products. No matter what product you choose, READ AND FOLLOW ALL THE LABEL INSTRUCTIONS, IT IS THE LAW.
- Be careful what product you choose to take care of this issue. Some spray insecticides will kill the insect within 30 minutes after they touch it. That does not give the worker ants enough time to get back to the colony before dying. This causes a condition called “Budding”, where the queens gather the remaining members and spread the colony in different directions.
- Another helpful tip about ants is that the adults do not eat solid food. They bring it back to the larvae in the nest so they can take the solid food and turn it into a liquid with their chewing mouth parts. The larvae pass the liquid back to the adult (called Trophallaxis), which then gets distributed throughout the colony. That is why using bait granules or discs can be more effective in the long run to eliminate these types of ants.
- Make sure that the ants are accepting whatever bait you choose to use. It is important to place it along their pathway. Note: if you keep finding dead ants near the bait, you may want to choose a different bait.
- If you smoke cigarettes, it is important to wear gloves when handling the bait discs before placing them down, because ants are repelled by nicotine.
- Last, but not least, the colony has different needs at different times of the year. Some days they will forage for carbohydrates and other days they will search for proteins. That can help you understand why they may not be choosing the bait right when you put it out.