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Best Ant Insecticide

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Faced with a persistent and pesky ant infestation, most homeowners don't want to spend time searching and testing products. They want an ant insecticide that works now and will keep working until the ants are gone. A mature ant colony can contain millions of ants, and it can sometimes take months to eradicate all of them. Using more than one ant insecticide will be the most effective way to target and kill the ants wherever they hide.

Ant baits are the best way to target the entire ant colony with an insecticide that will provide long lasting protection. Placed inside and outside, these baits contain a substance that is attractive to ants as a food source, along with a poison that acts slowly to kill the ants. After discovering and eating some of the bait, worker ants will take some back into the nest to feed other ants. The majority of ants, including the queen, never leave the nest. Poisonous baits are the only way to effectively reach them.

Indoors, baits can be placed inside cabinets, under furniture and appliances, and on counters--anywhere that ants are known to travel. If a bait station shows no signs of ant activity after 24 to 48 hours, it should be moved to a new location. Once ants discover a bait, hundreds will swarm over it, forming trails from the nest to the bait. It may be possible to follow the trails back to the nest, which is helpful when you're ready to treat the nest directly.

Though it can seem like a good idea to spray the swarming and trailing ants with an ant killer, this is actually counterproductive. Firstly, it prevents the ants from carrying the poison into the nests where thousands or millions of other ants are lurking. Secondly, using any other insecticide in the area will destroy the ability of the bait to work in the future.

Ant baits come in either enclosed or refillable varieties with each type usually working as well as the other. Refillable types should be monitored closely and refilled as soon as the ants eat all the bait, and enclosed baits should be replaced at least every two weeks. It's important to keep the bait constantly available.

Some ant species will start to avoid baits once they realize it is poisonous. It can be helpful to alternate between brands that utilize different insecticides or housing types to keep the ants ingesting the poison over a longer period of time.

Exterior ant baits work in the same manner but are formulated to withstand rainfall and hot temperatures. They should be placed around the foundation of the home, wherever ant trails have been noticed, and near nest sites.

To prevent ants' entry into your home from the outside, a liquid ant insecticide can be sprayed around the foundation in a one or two foot band on the ground and on the foundation itself. Spraying around windows, doors, ventilation openings, and any other access points will further block the ants' traveling into your home.

Ants may have established multiple nests in your yard, and each one will need to be treated. Various liquid insecticides can be sprayed or poured over the ant hills to flood the underground tunnels and chambers where ants dwell. Common choices include:

  • carbaryl
  • pyrethroid

The product's directions should be carefully followed for proper application to the nest. It may be necessary to dilute the ant insecticide with water before pouring or spraying it onto the ant hill. Treating nests in this way, along with using poison inside and outside the home, is usually a very effective method of eliminating even very large ant infestations.

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