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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Best use of ant baits and ant traps in homes.

ants feeding at liquid bait trap
As spring arrives the warmer temperatures will activate ant nests both inside and outside homes. You are likely to see increased ant activity as nests resume nest building and production of young worker ants. All this activity requires food so ants will be out foraging for new food sources.

Control of the common nuisance ants that are found indoors is best done with baits and traps. And the simplest and least expensive is a drop of sugary liquid food that has been laced with boric acid (borate).

At this time of the year ants are most attracted to sugary foods (carbohydrate) because of the high energy demand of nest building. If a scout worker finds a bit of sugary food she (all worker ants are female) will recruit her nestmates to the source.

bait station on pad of wax paper
Borate (a salt of boric acid) is toxic to insects when consumed. So a simple bait made from borate and a sugary liquid such as corn syrup is very effective. Baits can be homemade (keep the borate concentration to less than 5%) but several commercial products are so inexpensive that most people opt to go that route. Terro (tm) is one such product that is available in home centers and even grocery stores.

Place your bait stations where you see ant activity and give it a few days to start working. If after a few days you don't see ants actively feeding on the bait you can move them to a new location. You should see a noticeable reduction in ant activity within a week of starting your control program.

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