Before implementing the following steps, please verify the ant species by reading our Odorous House Ants: Identification & Biology page
Keep Them Out!
It is easy for odorous house ants and other small insects to gain access to homes and buildings through tiny cracks or gaps in the foundation (most often around doors and windows.) These areas should be thoroughly inspected and potential entry points sealed up by caulk or other exclusion material.
Step 1) Inspection
In order to treat an odorous house ant infestation properly, you must first inspect the property thoroughly inside and out for mounds or other potential nesting sites.
Odorous House Ant/ outdoor nesting sites: soil, hollowed trees, under firewood, rocks, and other piles of material or debris, and underneath stone or brick walkways.
Odorous House Ant/ indoor nesting sites: in walls and voids, and seen around moisture sources like sinks, pipes, or potted plants.
Step 2) Treat Outdoor Ant Mounds
Outdoor mounds can be eliminating by drenching the mound with Demon WP or Cynoff insecticide, using a gallon sprayer. Drenching simply means applying enough of the liquid insecticide to drown all ants in the nest and surrounding area. Always read the product label for specific directions on mound treatments. Pets and children should be kept away from the treated area until the solution has dried.
Step 3) Spray Outdoor Perimeter
Spray a good barrier around the home using Talstar or Demon WP and a one gallon sprayer. This will help prevent entry. A fan spray that is at least 3 feet high on the side of the building and 3 to 6 feet out on the ground will provide excellent protection.
Step 4) Indoors: Wait, don't spray!-Better to Bait
With Odorous house ants, the use of residual sprays indoors will only cause stress on the colony, causing it to split into a larger number of sub-colonies. This will actually worsen the infestation.
Baiting indoors is preferred and a far mare effective method of control than spraying or dusting. Try a slow-acting bait labeled specifically for odorous house ant control. Protein baits seem to be the most accepted by odorous house ants, but they will sometimes switch over to a sweet-feeding cycle for a time. To judge whether a bait is effective, simply monitor whether the placement is being visited or decreasing in size. If not, switch to a different bait until you find one that is readily accepted.
Recommended protein baits for Odorous House Ants
- Maxforce Ant Bait Stations - Maxforce Ant Bait Stations start to kill ants in just six hours, and tests show 90% population reductions in just four days.
- Maxforce Ant Bait Granular- Maxforce Insect bait offers a combination ingredients which satisfy the insects' changing tastes and nutritional needs.
Recommended sweet baits for Odorous House Ants
- Gourmet Ant Bait Gel - Uses a special insect attractant that mimics honeydew and enhances bait acceptance by a variety of Protein Feeding Ants, Sweet Feeding Ants, and roaches.
- Maxforce Ant Bait Gel- Effective against Argentine, Odorous House, Ghost, Pavement, and Little Black Ants.
- Advance Liquid Ant Bait- A balanced formulation of sugar and water that ants need and desire. The bait will kill the entire colony.
Step 5) Dust Treatments
Dust underneath baseboards, and inside cracks, crevices, and voids where activity is suspected, including all areas that cannot be sprayed with Delta Dust Insecticide. It is important to use Delta Dust because of its waterproof property. This is easy to apply using a professional Hand Duster.
Additional Methods for Ant Prevention & Control
After you have applied the appropriate pesticide chemicals, these additional non chemical methods will help you to maintain control and prevent future ant infestations:
- Practice good sanitation.
- Limit food preparation and consumption to one or two areas of the home that are cleaned daily.
- Eliminate gaps and cracks in the foundation, baseboards, window frames, and door frames with caulk or other appropriate material to eliminate ant entryways.
- Materials such as stacked or piled lumber, stones, bricks, leaf litter, heavy mulch, and other debris that serve as potential ant harborages should be removed as far from the structure as possible.
- Trim the branches of trees, shrubs, and other vegetation that may serve as ant highways so they do not touch the structure.
- Repair leaky pipes and faucets.
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