Recently, as part of my periodic servicing of one of our commercial accounts in North Brunswick, NJ, I was checking rodent bait stations that I had set up on an earlier visit. One of the bait boxes had a large number of ants in and around the box. Although the target pest was mice, of course, quite often ants are attracted to the bait. When servicing these bait stations, I often find the bait either partially or completely depleted. Since these bait stations are a necessary part of our treatment plan to control rodent populations, it often becomes necessary to control the ants that are attracted to and are feeding on the bait.
Prior to this servicing, I happened to be at another commercial establishment that had an ant infestation around the building’s exterior perimeter. When attempting to resolve this ant infestation, I first tried an ant gel bait where they were trailing. The ants had no interest whatsoever in the bait. There was no problem with the bait itself. It just so happens that gel baits have a sugary base that ants need for energy during certain periods in their lifecycle. And at this particular time, they didn’t need it. I immediately went to Plan B and switched the bait to a granular bait that has a protein base. The ants were all over it — literally — within minutes.
Since I was already successful with the granular bait, I thought I’d use it again to deal with the ants that had invaded the bait station. This time, they were not interested in picking it up. I then went to the gel, and these ants began feeding on it immediately. These particular ants were at a stage whether they wanted sugar and not protein.
The lesson with the two jobs is that with ant infestations, and pest infestations in general, we have a variety of products and applications at our disposal. Dealing with pest infestations is not a one size fits all approach. Often, we must try different strategies until we find the one that works for that particular infestation.