Certain ant species tend to bury large food sources that can’t be easily carried back to their nest. This essentially allows them to break down large chunks of the food source into smaller pieces, allowing them to bring it back to their colony bit by bit. If you’re currently using ant baits to deal with an infestation in your home, you’ll probably encounter this behavior. And while this does make baiting and poisoning the ants easier, the mess they make will still leave you annoyed and frustrated.
So how can you deal with ants covering bait with dirt? By taking measures to prevent them from doing that in the first place. Read on below to find out more.
You can’t stop ants from doing that once they've started since you need them to take the poison home. However, there are ways for you to prevent them from doing that in the first place, minimize the mess they’ll leave, and maintain peace of mind during the process.
As mentioned above, the main reason ants cover food in dirt is that it’s too big to be brought home in one piece. So if you don’t want them burying your ant baits in a similar way, best set them in smaller, lighter chunks. Make sure they’re spread out evenly near the anthill so the ants can easily smell them.
You could also use liquid ant baits instead of solid ones. Liquid ant baits will help you avoid dealing with ants covering bait with dirt, and cleaning it up afterward will be much easier. But more importantly, liquid ant baits are more effective when it comes to slowly eradicating ants.
To cover large chunks of bait and food, ants will collect any bits of debris they can find. This will include dirt, hair, colony garbage, and even exoskeletons of their fellow ants. By cleaning and sanitizing the area surrounding their colony, you’ll be able to deny them access to these debris, thus reducing the chances of them burying your ant traps in dirt.
Moreover, ants only cover food in dirt if it’s too far from their colony. By setting your ant bait near their home, you’ll minimize the chances of them doing so. Granted, they might still use dirt to build scaffoldings and break down the food source into smaller pieces, but at least they won’t make too much mess.
Lastly, you need to replace ant baits from time to time. Ant baits age like other food sources, and some of them can get neglected by the ants the longer they stay buried. By checking the lures you set regularly, you can replace those that’ll not serve their purpose. You can also prevent ants from burying your traps since you’ll replace them before they even start collecting dirt.
Ant traps aren’t that hard to come by. In fact, you can easily get them from your nearest stores, supermarkets, and online retail. Below are some of the most popular ant baits available.
Protein-based and slow-acting, Advance 375A Ant Bait is perfect for eradicating various ant species, including the odorous ant, the pavement ant, the carpenter ant, and the fire ant. This product contains abamectin, a compound that attacks an ant’s nervous system and leaves their bodies paralyzed. Abamectin can effectively eradicate your ant infestation without causing harm to your plants and shrubs.
If you’re dealing with sugar-craving ants, opt for Advion Ant Bait Gel. Made with Indoxacarb, this product is notable for its slightly delayed effects. It’ll kill ants within days of consumption, but it’ll keep them alive long enough to bring the ant bait home for their fellow ants to eat. But more importantly, this ant killer comes in a gel form that makes it easy for ants to climb over and break down, removing the need to bury it in dirt.
Meanwhile, Amdro Ant Bait Granules will help you eradicate ants outside your home. Made especially for outdoor pest control, it’s effective in ornamental gardens, lawns, and other landscaped areas. It’s perfect against at least 17 ant species, including the Argentine ant, the carpenter ant, and the Pharaoh ant. For best results, set this ant bait during the period where ants are most active.
With its patented gel-like consistency, Intice Gelanimo Ant Baits allow ants to feed off its surface without the need to use dirt as scaffolding. This reduces the mess you’ll have to deal with afterward, and it allows more ants to get chunks of it (depending on how strategically you place it). Additionally, this bait will not get sticky or gooey over time, allowing the ants to take it without drowning or getting stuck.
If you’re looking for a faster ant killer, go for Invict Xpress Granular Bait. This product contains Imidacloprid to kill ants quickly. However, it also has various powerful ingredients that’ll easily lure ants and keep them alive long enough to encourage other ants to take the bait. Plus, it can be effectively used to get rid of larger pests like roaches and crickets.
According to its advertisers, Maxforce Granules are so delicious that ants won’t be able to resist it and so effective that they won’t be back for seconds. Available in various granule sizes and flavors, this product can help you eradicate a broader spectrum of ants, cockroaches, crickets, and other pests. Maxforce Granules can be used against ant infestations indoors and outdoors.
Optigard Ant Bait Gel is another sugar-based, slow-acting ant lure to consider. Notable for containing thiamethoxam, it’s capable of killing the ant queen as well as the rest of the ant colony. It doesn't come with that yellow-brown color or runny consistency that turns off ants, too. Optigard Ant Bait Gel is ideal against the Pharaoh ant, the Argentine ant, the odorous ant, and the carpenter ant among others.
Terro Liquid Ant Bait contains borax, a milder version of boric acid that destroys an ant’s digestive system and eventually kills it. Despite its kill rate, it’ll keep target ants alive long enough to go back to their colonies and entice their comrades to harvest the rest of the bait. Plus, Terro ant bait comes in liquid form, meaning ants won’t have to cover it in dirt to harvest it.
Read more: How to Exterminate Indoor and Outdoor Ant Infestation With Ant Baits
Don’t be surprised if you encounter ants covering bait with dirt; that’s completely normal. Instead, you should do everything you can to minimize the mess they leave, and call your trusted pest control for larger ant infestations.
Too busy to deal with ant infestations on your own? Call Positive Pest Management right away! Servicing New York City and Nassau County, Long Island, we guarantee quality pest control. With our team of experts, we promise that your ant problem will be a thing of the past.
Interested in our pest control services? Give us a call to get a quote.