Ghost and Other Sweet Feeding Ants
Want to know all about the life cycle, biology and other “scientific facts?” Hover over the picture to see what our friends at the University of Florida have to say. (You will not be leaving our website, just “X” out of their tab to return.)
Ants are a serious problem! Not only in Florida, but across the nation and the World! There are so many different species and sub species that it makes it nearly impossible for homeowners and business owners to attempt control this pest on their own. What happens is: you see some ants and you spray some spray you have under the cabinet. Ahhh, instant gratification-the ants are dead! Or so you thought. What you actually just did was make the problem WORSE! You see, the ants that you are seeing are only about 10% (if that) of the colony, and they were out doing their job of bringing food back to the 90% and the queen(s). Now you’ve killed them and the queen has to MAKE MORE and send more. This time they appear in a different place, so you grab the can an spray again. The bad news is you did it again, you unknowingly made the problem worse. Now the queen is really panicked–she’s down 20% of her workers and her “BABIES” are not being fed, so, she now delegates another queen, of sorts, not an actual queen, but a “baby maker” called a “sub-reproductive” and so it goes, and goes, and goes. Before you know it the colony size has grown from hundreds to thousands, and in some cases, hundreds of thousands! So what do you do? Well you could hire a professional exterminator and spend a LOT more money OR you can bring or send us a sample of your ants and you will be on your way to truly controlling this army.
DO NOT SPRAY! For effective ant control you MUST first properly identify the ant species (different ants-different products) then use a slow-release stomach poison, or “bait” for a period of time and then keep them under control by following-up with an insecticide when the baiting procedure is finished.
As we said, the first step in controlling ants is to properly identify what type of ant it is. In order to do this, they must be put under a microscope so we can see them up close and personal. THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO TRULY KNOW WHAT THEY ARE. To the naked eye, you cannot see the key elements (single node petiole or bi-nodal petiole, stinger or no stinger, shape of the head, how many clubs on the antennae, etc.) We ask that you bring in samples of the ants or if your not local mail us samples (write “hand cancel” on the envelope so they don’t get squashed). Some ants feed on carbohydrates, while others feed on proteins. ALL ants must have water.
Once the ant is properly identified under a microscope we advise you which ant bait to use and give you complete instructions on baiting techniques and follow-up procedures. It’s really quite easy once you have the right product and the right plan! Don’t be tempted to rush out to the local department store or building supply store and just ask for “ant bait,” those retail products usually contain an ingredient called “Orthoboricacid” which is an insecticide and ends up killing the ants BEFORE they make it back to the nest. Buy hey, you fed them good and they died fat and happy. Again, you see some dead ants and think you’ve won when you’ve really just wasted more time and money. **
If the proper follow up is not done the ants may return at a later time and the process begins all over again.
**Always read and follow manufacturer’s labels and directions.