HOW MANY TREATMENTS DO I NEED?
There is no correct answer to this questions. While a majority of houses only need one or two treatments, there are homes that need multiple visits. There are a few factors that can help determine the amount of treatments needed. The type of ant plays an important part. Some ants, such as pavement ants and thatching ants, can be very easy to get rid of. Moisture ants, if the location of the nest is known, are also very easy to get rid…again, if the location of their nest is known.
Carpenter ants in the summer months are generally easier to eliminate, but can be very difficult to eradicate in the winter.
Odorous House Ants (or sugar ants) are the tricky ones. They have multiple nests and multiple queens, so their nests can be the size of city blocks. We may be able to get rid of the ants in your house, but when you’re surrounded my hundreds of thousands of them at your neighbor’s houses, it can present a challenge. For long-term control of ants, we suggest quarterly service. Many times with ants, it takes multiple visits to eradicate them.
Other factors include how long you’ve had the ants (the longer they’ve been there, the harder it is to eradicate them), amount of vegetation on the outside (more foliage, means more ants), where you live (certain neighborhoods have more ants than others), and condition of your home/structure (structures with moisture problems will always attract more bugs in general).
Cities, such as Binghamton, where houses are generally older and closer together, generally require more treatments than other areas. Also, when it’s colder outside (generally October through March), it often takes more treatments to eradicate them than it would in the summer months.
We do use the most effective ant products and methods on the market, but there is no silver bullet for getting rid of ants. We will do everything we can do to solve your problem quickly and efficiently.
WHAT IS INVOLVED IN YOUR TREATMENT?
For ants, our treatment includes treating the interior and exterior of your home. Our exterior treatment generally includes spraying around the foundation of your home, around entry points, around doors and windows, and where ant trails are present. Inside the home we use various types of baits and if we do spray we try to treat cracks and crevices or do small spot treatments. We do not use “bug bombs” that are going to get pesticide everywhere. We really put our focus on where ants are active.
Other pest control companies will sell you on doing what’s called a “drill-and-treat” where they drill holes every 18″ along your house and inject the walls with chemical. With advances in new products, it is extremely rare that we have to do something this drastic to eradicate ants. Sometimes we may find it necessary to poke or drill a few holes to gain access to the nests, but rarely the entire house
HOW DO YOUR PRODUCTS WORK AND HOW QUICKLY DO THEY WORK?
Throughout the years the products used in ant control have changed tremendously. Products now are much safer and the mode of action is different. For the most part we use a combination of sprays, baits, and dusts.
Our sprays are non-repellent products which allows ants to walk across the product without knowing it’s there. That way more ants become infected with the product and will transfer it from one ant to another. We use baits for two reasons. First, we want to draw the ants out of hiding so they come in contact with our product. Secondly, the ants will eat the bait and then through a process called trophyllaxis, the ants regurgitate the bait and share it with the nest (gross…we know!).
It’s not a quick process to get rid of ants. We generally tell customers to give our treatments about 2 to 3 weeks to work properly. During this time it is very common to see an increase of ants or see ants show up in other places. I know it may not seem like we’re doing a good job at first, but this is actually a good sign. It has been said that 90% of an ant colony is in the nest and only 10% are out foraging (those are the ones you’re seeing in your home). We want to not only kill the 10% foraging, but the 90% in hiding.
We use baits to draw a lot of the ants out of hiding, thus producing an influx of ants. Again, we usually say give the treatments about 2 to 3 weeks to really work and if you’re still seeing them after that, then it’s time for another treatment.
HOW DO I PREPARE FOR A TREATMENT
When it comes to ant treatments, there is not much that you need to do. We like to see the ants in their current environment so we can see where their current activity is and also where their trails are coming from. At the time of service, we may make some suggestions on how to keep ants away long-term.
ARE YOUR PRODUCTS SAFE/GREEN?
There is always some risk involved with what we do. For ant treatments, generally there is no need to leave your home during and after our treatment; however, if you have chemical sensitive individuals or pets in the home, then you may want to leave. We use a wide array of products to get rid of ants. Some of them are considered organic and green, while others are synthetic products.
Our synthetic products are cautiously chosen to provide excellent results, but are safe to you, your pets, and the environment. Obviously common sense needs to be enforced, so no licking or touching our products…especially while wet! Most products dry within an hour on the interior and 30 minutes on the exterior. If you have preferences on what type of products are used at your home, please let your technician know at time of service.
When it comes to ants, unfortunately, “green” products are not recommended. Green and/or organic products work great as a contact killer, but offer very little, if any, residual effect. Also because ants are social insects, our “normal” products work in such a way that ants take our products back to their nest which will essentially wipe out hundreds or thousands of ants. Green products do no work in this manner, so their success rate is considerably less. If you do want green or organic products, we’d be glad to provide this type of treatment, but please know it will take many more treatments and we can’t guarantee it’s success.
That being said, even though our “regular” products are not necessarily green or organic, many would consider our procedures green. On most homes, we bait heavily for ants on the inside, so there is very little spraying of chemicals on the interior. Bait is generally considered a safer product and placed in areas where pets and children won’t get to it.
We then spray the exterior of your home. Many pest control companies will treat a home with more than 5 gallons of chemical, whereas when we spray a home, we generally use ½ to 2 gallons of finished product. Because we follow the labels, we spray in areas that will provide the most success with the least amount of chemical.