Staying Safe Around Pest Control

Dusts, Baits, And Sprays – Which Option Is Right For Your Ant Problem?

Professional exterminators typically come equipped with a truck (or van) load full of options for dealing with various pest problems, including severe ant infestations. While many tools and techniques are involved in permanently solving an issue with ants, pesticides are often unavoidable in any long-term solution.

Pesticides come in wide varieties, but it's common to classify them into three broad groups: dust, baits, and sprays. What's the difference, when will your exterminator use each one, and why might it be necessary to take multiple approaches? This guide will shed some light on how ant extermination professionals use these tools to evict ants from your home permanently.

Baits – Taking the Fight Home

It's easy to think of baits as the equivalent of a mouse trap, but ant bait traps tend to be a little more sophisticated. These traps typically don't aim to kill the ants who enter them, at least not immediately. Instead, baits offer a tempting treat with a side of pesticide. Ants enter the traps and carry the food back to their nests, sharing it with the rest of the colony.

The goal of baits is to destroy or severely damage the colony. This approach effectively eliminates the problem, but it may be slow and won't always stop ants from entering your home. Some ants may also be less likely to take the bait, reducing its effectiveness at destroying the colony. Professional exterminators may need to check in and continually evaluate the effectiveness of baits in your home.

Dust – Creating Physical Barriers

Pesticide dust comes in several varieties, including contact killers and longer-term solutions. The primary advantage of using dust is the application method. While spraying liquid pesticides can reach many areas, they often can't get into the hardest-to-reach parts of your home. Additionally, liquids may not always provide the same long-lasting protection.

Dust remains on the ground, creating physical barriers where ants may march or at potential entry points. As a result, these methods can kill ants entering your home or even destroy whole colonies as they march across the pesticide, explore dusted areas, or bring the pesticides back to their nests. Exterminators may not use dust alone, but it can be useful as part of a larger plan.

Sprays – Making a Direct Attack

Most sprays are a fairly direct method of pest control. However, pesticide sprays can be used in several ways, offering more versatility. Direct application is common to deal with large populations but sprays also work in barrier treatments similar to dust-based pesticides. Sprays used in this way can form a protective shield around your home to stop ants from entering.

It's also common for exterminators to apply sprays directly to colonies. This approach can effectively wipe colonies out but requires the exterminator to know the colony's location. As a result, exterminators may combine direct sprays with barrier sprays (or other methods, such as dust or bait) to deal with hidden populations.