How To Get Rid of Pavement Ants with Bait
Updated: Apr 30
Pavement ants earned their name from the fact that they build their nests in or under cracks in the pavement. These ants range in color from dark brown to black, and can also infest the inside of buildings. Pavement ants are commonly found in ground-level brick walls in buildings, although they may also be found nesting within the walls, insulation pads on the wall, or beneath floors. While these ants don’t pose a major threat to human health, they can enter homes to forage and contaminate your food in turn. Given this, it’s best to take necessary measures to keep pavement ants at bay, like using bait.
So how do you get rid of pavement ants with bait? You can use different types of ant bait like liquid bait, solid or granular bait, dual bait (which is typically both solid and liquid bait), paste bait, and gel bait, among others. For best results, use gel bait because it’s easily ingested and transferred back to the entire ant colony, making for easy and fast ant extermination at home. But if your ant problem persists after trying different types of bait, it’s best to seek the help of pest control professionals.
What Are The Different Options to Get Rid of Pavement Ants?
1) Insecticide Spray
Sprays may be used both indoors and outside, and are effective as a spot treatment for most types of ants that you see. They work best when sprayed on nests in cracks, crevices, baseboards, and wall voids. Sprays aren't the ideal long-term treatments, as they only kill ants you can see, not the source of the problem, which is the colony.
Pavement ants are controlled with a variety of interior and outdoor chemical treatments. Instructions and labels are included with these sprays and you can achieve great results by following the product’s instructions. Spray all of the cracks, fissures, holes, and mounds found within your house or target area with the spray, and watch the ants scurry away. The beauty of this method is that it can also act as an insect repellant.
2) Ant Dust
The active element in ant dust is deltamethrin, which is a pyrethroid. When it comes into touch with the target insects, it kills them by interfering with their neurological systems. Ant Dust is weatherproof, won’t wash away in the rain, and will keep insects at bay for up to 8 months. Although longer-lasting than insecticide sprays, ant dust won’t permanently solve your ant problem, as they could potentially return after 8 months.
3) Ant Bait Stations
Ant bait stations are also referred to as bait traps. They are self-contained, ready-to-use ant control gel bait that may be used by both pest management professionals and homeowners. By peeling off a tab and pressing the gel into the bait chamber, the simple to use bait station is instantaneously activated.
The very appealing ant control bait is strategically put in regions of problem ant activity and remains contained within the station, where ants will freely eat. The gel bait stays wet and appeals to ants, allowing for more efficient ant colony management. The housing station where the bait is placed acts as an additional barrier against weather conditions despite the bait themselves typically being weatherproof by themselves.
How Does Ant Bait Work?
Ant trap bait consists of a combination of ant-attractive food and pesticide, or "ant poison," which ants are drawn to and use to recruit more workers. Workers bring little amounts of the bait back to the nest or colony, where it is passed from worker to worker, larvae to larvae, and ultimately the queen, to kill the whole colony.
Bait goods must be slow-acting so that foraging ants have enough time to return to the nest and feed other colony members before being killed by the poison in the bait. With ant baits, there is no poison control necessary as the poison will infect any ant that comes in contact with the bait food, which makes baiting one of the best ant control tactics.
How to Set Up Ant Bait Effectively
Observation is the key to successful ant baiting. Don't kill ants immediately if you find a trail of them in your house. Keep an eye on where they're headed and how they're getting there. You'll learn where they're likely to be breeding and what sort of food they prefer to forage.
It's time to put up your traps once you've worked out where they like to scavenge. Follow the instructions on the box or package if you're using commercial bait. Make numerous little containers out of the bait, using bottle caps and the like, to segregate them within the station. Place them along the route and let the worker ants take care of the rest. Segregation of the bait allows more ants to eat the bait and allows for less poison control.
Seasonally, ant food choices shift to meet the colony's nutritional demands. Carbohydrates and sugars, oils and fats, and proteins are the three primary feeding choices of ants. Place a dab of honey, mint apple jelly, or peanut butter on a card, paper plate, or the interior wall of a plastic cup to see what kind of food the ants are seeking.
Place the card or cup in an ant-infested location, whether indoors or out. In 15 minutes, check to see if the ants have gathered on one of the meals. If ants are swarming the sweet meal, add a gel or liquid to repel them. Use a paste formulation with protein/fats if they prefer peanut butter.
Ant baits are effective against interior ant infestations, although they are most beneficial when food is scarce outside. This occurs during the winter months when plants and insects remain dormant. Outside baits may become more difficult to employ as plants mature and insect activity. Ants will prefer to hunt for food waste or spills before bait, cleanliness should be prioritized.
Ensure that the area you plan to put your bait in is clean and that garbage cans have been washed and secured. When scale insects are present, houseplants can also be a source of honeydew. If you discover ants under or around your houseplants, clean the area so that they may only be attracted by your ant bait.
Different Types of Ant Bait
1) Liquid Ant Bait
Borax is used in liquid ant bait to kill both the ants you see and the ants you don't see. It works by allowing forager ants to drink the product and survive long enough to return to the nest with the liquid and provide a dosage to the remainder of the colony. Ants are easily drawn to the sweet nectar as they seek nourishment.
Worker ants ingest the bait after discovering it and leave a pheromone trail that leads back to the colony. This trail informs other worker ants of the location of the freshly found food source. This allows for less poison control and will allow the poison to do its job when it reaches the
Meanwhile, the active component, borax, is progressively interfering with each ant's digestive system, eventually killing them but giving them enough time to return to the colony and spread the poison. This gradual death is required so that foraging ants can make many journeys to the bait, allowing you to eliminate both worker and colony ants.
Ensure that liquid bait is placed within liquid bait stations to avoid being eroded away by weather. When bought commercially, these baits typically come with liquid bait stations so it’s nothing to worry about.
2) Solid or Granular Bait
Solid ant bait, or more commonly known as granular bait, are made up of a block of sugar and protein that has been blended together then ants take bites of the bait and return it to the colony. The ants must extract and segregate the food depending on the colony's various needs: workers want sugar, while larvae require protein.
However, the poison in the bait kills some of the workers before they can separate the food. This bait can kill the entire colony because both meals are present, but the segregation process required makes this type of bait more time-consuming than other bait forms.
3) Dual Bait
Insecticide bait stations containing two types of attractants and the active component or poison are known as dual ant bait stations, more commonly in liquid and solid form. These bait stations are both safe to use indoors near food preparation areas and powerful enough to utilize outside.
The attractants make it impossible for hard-to-control ants to refuse the lethal food baits. Ants return to their queen with the slow-acting bait, which kills the whole colony as the worker ants return for more of the bait.
4) Paste Bait
Proteins and lipids are combined in paste-like baits that mimic peanut butter (but you have to keep it out of reach of children and pets. They’re best utilized inside or at bait stations and are applied in the same way as gel baits. Protein/oil past baits may be more successful if ants aren't drawn to sweet but lethal food baits.
5) Gel Bait
Ant gel bait, which contains the active component thiamethoxam, provides unrivaled control of a wide range of ants by consumption and transmission of the transparent, odorless, and appetizing bait for colony control.
Gel bait contains a transparent formulation that stays clear throughout the process and maintains a thicker consistency while not staining treated surfaces or emitting a strong odor. It also holds its shape without running, unlike liquid forms. Like the other bait forms, poison control isn’t necessary for this bait.
Why is Gel Bait Commonly Used?
The majority of ant bait gels take the same method and act in a similar manner. The active component they utilize is frequently what distinguishes one from the other. Indoxacarb, borax, thiamethoxam, and fipronil, are common ones that are employed for the creation of ant bait products. They're all effective against ants and have a delayed impact, allowing them to return to the nest before being killed.
Some of these compounds have a broad range of effectivity and will kill different species of ants by blocking the operation of the ants' central nervous system. Most ants have a similar brain structure, these substances will work against them regardless of their ant type. Some of the broad-spectrum active compounds are thiamethoxam, fipronil, and imidacloprid, which are effective against almost any ant.
Whether an active component is meant to target a broad spectrum of ants or a single species of ant (for example, carpenter ants or the troublesome red imported fire ants), they all function on the same premise. They're slow-acting insecticides that poison the worker ant that eats the gel, which takes a long time to kill so that it can pass on the particles of the bait and poison. This allows the bug to return to the colony and infect many more ants, either with the food (gel) provided to the said colony.
Why Are Gel Baits So Effective?
Gel baits are especially enticing to ants as ant bait products when sugars are scarce in the colder months because they taste like honeydew, the sugary feces of sap-feeding insects like aphids.
Ants can readily ingest and transfer gels back to the entire colony, much like liquid bait, most particularly, pavement ants and other sweet-toothed ants, who are drawn to gel baits. When used outside, they must be protected from extremely dry and wet circumstances by being placed within a bait station.
Call Midway Pest Management for Your Ant Problems At Home
Ant infestations inside house walls can be difficult to deal with so it’s better to leave the job at the hands of a pest management professional like Midway Pest Management. Our team of pest experts carefully examines the extent of damage and infestation before recommending the best treatment plan for your property.
Midway Pest Management is the smartest and safest choice for pest extermination in your home or business and the best pest control firm. We have the right tools, methods, and techniques to prevent and stop all kinds of pests and insects from invading and taking over your space. Midway Pest Management has a slew of other services such as fumigation and nest/colony removal. Contact Midway Pest Management today to receive a free quote on our services.