This past month have been our busiest April ever at PEST UK. Ants, especially in the latter part of the month have been the pest that has increased the most. As ants come out of hibernation they will forage inside as it is warmer. They may come out of hibernation early if the nests are effected by an artificial source of light or/and heat. When this happens then insecticide and baiting treatments may take longer to work or even fail as large parts of the nest will still be in hibernation and not be effected by insecticide bait or contaminated ants covered in insecticide after foraging in treated areas. Generally speaking the warmer the weather the quicker treatments work. Ant treatments done in cold water often have to be repeated later in the year.
All the modern insecticides are biodegradable to make them safe for mammals but the drawback is they are delicate and not as long lasting as some of the ‘older’ insecticides. If applied to surfaces exposed to the weather, strong sunlight or areas that are walked, vacuumed or cleaned then the insecticides break down and will not work.
In ideal conditions the insecticide sprays can last up to three months but generally one month inside and a couple of weeks outside. This is part of the reasons that ant baits have become popular. These are vert effective, have the advantage of not being effected as much by the weather, are not poises at all to mammals but do take a long time to work compared with insecticide sprays and dusts, especially in colder weather. Ants leave pheromone trails when foraging for food. These trails tell other ants where food sources are. Trails are followed by ants from other nests so the ant problem in a house may have ants coming from several nests. The solution is to get a treatment quickly before the trails and pheromones build up.