Out of all pests, ants are considered to be the number one nuisance, creating billions of dollars in revenue for pest control companies all over the United States. Besides fire ants, a personâ€™s health is not greatly affected from an infestation, but people just donâ€™t like to see them because they have become a telltale sign of unsanitary conditions. Though some ants can also affect the home’s structure and cause damage to electrical units.
Considering all the issues that ants cause, many people are starting to go to pest control companies like UltraPro Pest Protection to help them manage these nuisances. Some of the areas most affected by ants include kitchens and bedrooms. Pesticides can be used to prevent ants, but why would you want to use pesticides in the sensitive areas of your home such as your living room and bedroom? By using a method known as integrated pest management, it will help you protect the indoors from ants while greatly limiting, sometimes eliminating, the use of pesticides.
The main goal of IPM, Integrated Pest Management is to protect your home from pests while keeping yourself, your family, and the environment safe. The main way pest control companies do this is through non-chemical controls by either changing the environment to make it less favorable for pests, or using alternative methods such as cold, heat, or traps to get rid of pests without affecting people or the environment. Pesticides will be used when needed, but the purpose IPM is to protect the environment and the people around it and involves not using chemical treatments when possible.
Here are the general steps that are used to implement an IPM plan that protects and rids nuisances like ants.
Identify your pest
Before you can come up with a plan, you have to properly identify the pest. With ants, there are many different species that cause different types of damage and require different control methods. Some of the most common species of ants include carpenter ants, pavement ants, acrobat ants, pharaoh ants, odorous house ants, and many more.
Each one of these species has different characteristics when it comes to nesting sites, food preferences, and susceptibility to different control methods. As a result of this, it takes more than knowing you have a problem to solve it. Sometimes proper identification requires some advanced skills, so calling in a pest control professional will help you make sure you are tackling your problem the right way.
Monitor and assess the problem
This is a very critical step when it comes to enacting IPM. Monitoring will let you detect the problem early, identify affected areas, and assess how effective the IPM program will be on your situation. When monitoring ants, it is more important to record theÂ number of sites affected rather than the amount of ants present – a task that can be more difficult to do for ants than it is for other pests like cockroaches. Ants are more discreet than other pests, but there are still ways of tracking them.
For some species like carpenter ants, you can look for possible holes in the wall that would lead to where their nest is. Most of the times, ants have foraging lines, which is where ants go from their active feeding location to their nesting site. Once this trail is found, an IPM program will be designed to protect your home or business from ants.
Ant control strategies are just as diverse as the ants themselves. Each species of ant will require a different type implementation. If outdoor ants make their way indoors, there are many different strategies that you could put into effect. You would start by using an insecticide barrier on the exterior of the building in order to prevent the pest from coming in. Inside the building, you want to use a cleaning agent on the foraging trails to wipe away their scent. Also, baits can be used near pest-pressured areas, which will help get rid of the ants even faster. This is a more environmentally friendly approach. UltraPro Pest Protection has over 30-years of residential, commercial, and industrial pest management expertise.
There are also non-chemical, environmentally friendly IPM strategies that are capable of protecting your property from potential ant infestations. Some of these include:
- Sealing all cracks and crevices
- Insect Monitoring
- Removing firewood and vegetation and garbage away from buildings. Sanitation is the biggest factor in having ants and insect infestations.
- Cleaning out rain gutters, sealing holes, full crack and crevice treatment.
- Trimming tree limbs away from buildings
- Checking for infestation before bringing firewood or plants into the house
- Leaving windows and doors open.
- Sanitation of home or business. Housekeeping in both residential and commercial properties.
Pesticides may be used both indoors and outdoors, in pest infested, pest pressured areas under the rules and regulations of the DEP, (Department of Environmental Protection).