5 Questions with Dr. Janis Reed

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Dr. Janis Reed, Technical Service Manager for Pest Control at Control Solutions Inc., answers questions regarding one of her favorite insects, the ant. Her fascination for these creatures comes from watching hundreds to thousands of individual ants work together as a colony toward a common goal.

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April 15, 2020

Dr. Janis Reed, Technical Service Manager
1. Why are ants so difficult to control?

Ants are one of the most common insects on the planet; they are found on every continent except Antarctica. There are many reasons for their success, but one of the main ones is their social behavior. Their ability to work together towards a common goal — survival and colony growth — is one of the most important secrets to their success.

2. What makes a successful ant management technician?

Persistence is key. The ability to spend an inordinate amount of time searching out nesting sites, foraging trails and conducive conditions takes a unique type of person. The ability to think both critically and creatively is also important. Great technicians are both problem solvers and communicators! Of course, ant identification skills are important, too.

3. What’s the best approach to fighting ant infestations?

Ant management nearly always comes down to two things: Inspection and communication. Performing a thorough inspection and confidently identifying the pests and where they are living cannot be overemphasized. Product selection is also an important consideration, but the application of these products and identification of pests involved, as well as conducive conditions, are of the utmost importance.

4. What are the most effective tools or solutions for ant management?

The individual technician servicing the account is the most important tool. His or her ability to thoroughly inspect and spend the time and energy to solve pest problems is of paramount importance. Choosing the right management solution is also important. Ants can be complicated and finicky! Bait preferences can change dramatically based on ant species or the time of year. Repellent insecticides can trap ants in a structure and may make the problem worse.

5. What specific products do you recommend for ant management?

Identification of the ants in question is the daunting factor for a product recommendation. Determining why they are entering the structure is also an important factor. However, for a generic account where ants are entering the structure, I recommend a suite of products rather than relying on a single product. For exterior applications, I encourage PMPs to use non-repellent insecticides such as Fuse® or Taurus® SC. These products do not disrupt ant foraging or behavior, so they forage and build nests as they did before. Indoors, I recommend the use of non-repellent insecticides and baits. Spectre PS aerosol can be used in voids, cracks and crevices where ants may forage or harbor. Doxem® Precise bait can be applied using the Precision Delivery System in voids, cracks and crevices where ants forage or harbor. Most of these insecticides act very slowly so it’s important to communicate expectations to customers or property owners.