Ants are one of those truly pesky insects that seem to like to spoil our Barbecues and picnics, but they can be an essential part of our garden community. Not only will they help to keep the soil tilled and aerated, they also prey on many eggs and larvae of some of the most annoying garden insects, such as aphids, spiders, small invertebrates or other sap-sucking pests infesting your garden plants. Needless to say, if they start invading the house, or grow large enough colonies that begin to disrupt the root structure of plants, then it is time to take action.
The best products for controlling ants are a bait, as it is the one thing that the worker ants will take back to the colony. Unfortunately colonies of ants will have different food requirements, at different times, to maintain the health of the colony. At any given time the colony can switch food requirements depending on whether a sugar, or protein, bait is require. The worker ants will then source out that type of food exclusively. If they are not feeding on protein type baits, then it would be advisable to try liquid sugar baits, or vice versa. When baiting for ants it is a good idea to bait with both that way, when and if they switch baits, you will be prepared.
We have several different lines of ant baits which are listed below. All of these products contain a food grade bait of either protein/grease (Peanut Butter base) or Glucose (sugars), along with the active ingredient of Boric Acid. When used according to the direction on the individual package they are the most effective form of controlling ants, as they are the only thing that ants will take back into the colony controlling the entire colony, larvae and the Queen. When using in an outdoor location we would recommend placing them under something like a brick or stone that will prevent access from non-target animals, and children, but still allow access for the ants.
- Green Earth Homecare Liquid Ant Bait (sugar)
- Wilson AntOut Ant Traps (protein)
- Wilson AntOut Liquid Antex (sugar)
- Wilson AntOut Ant Bait (protein)
- Wilson AntOut Outdoor Ant Stakes (protein)
- Wilson AntOut Ant Gel Bait (sugar)
All ant baits should be replaced or replenished periodically. This will be dependent on how many ants are feeding. If there is a steady trail of ants feeding on the baits daily then they should be replaced every 5 to 14 days. If only the odd ant is feeding every now and then they should be replaced every 4 – 6 months.
None of these bait products will be very effective at controlling Carpenter Ants. If you are seeing saw dust caused by the ants then it is we suggest using Green Earth Homecare Ant, Roach & Crawling Insect Killer Dust. This is the only product that we have registered for controlling carpenter ants, but if the infestation is very large we would still recommend contacting an exterminator before structural damage can occurred.
Another choice in ant control is Diatomaceous Earth also known as Silicon Dioxide. This active is in Wilson AntOut Ant Killer Dust 200 g, Green Earth Slug & Bug Insect Killer Dust, and Green Earth Bed Bug & Crawling Insect Killer. Diatomaceous Earth is a naturally occurring, soft, siliceous sedimentary rock that is easily crumbled into a fine off-white powder. It consists of the fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae. Diatomaceous Earth does not control insects by toxicity, but by cutting action. To you and I the product looks and feels like talc powder, but to an insect it is like walking through razor blades. Once the powder scratches, or cuts, the insect it literally dries them up causing death within as little as 48 hours. It may take several weeks for the Diatomaceous Earth dust to be carried back into the colony, completely controlling it.
To control ants on contact and set up a barrier to help keep them out try either Wilson AntOut Indoor Outdoor Insect Killer Spray, either in the 1 litre Ready to Spray or in the “NEW” container with the EZ Spray battery operated nozzle, or Wilson OneShot Ant, Roach & Crawling Insect Killer Aerosol. With the active ingredient of Permethrin it will give a quick knockdown and leave a residual action for 7 to 14 days. Spray it into cracks and crevice, around doors, windows and foundations to prevent entry of a wide variety of creepy crawlers.
There are some major regulatory changes occurring in the rodenticide market in Canada. These new Federal restrictions for several domestic class anti-coagulant type rodenticide active ingredients are being passed with the intent to prevent the accidental exposure of children and non-target animals. After June 30, 2014, only domestic rodenticides that conform with the following will be available through your local retailer.
The major new requirements for domestic class anti-coagulant rodenticide products are:
- Domestic class rodenticide products containing second-generation anticoagulants (single feeding actives: brodifacoum, bromadiolone and difethialone) are prohibited.
- All loose bait forms of anti-coagulant type rodenticides (such as, meal, treated whole-grain, pellet and liquid) are prohibited.
- Domestic class rodenticides must always be used in bait stations. Block or solid formulations are the only types allowable.
- Bait must be in a form that is reasonably expected to remain in a bait station, except for bait removed, and crumbs created, by target rodents.
- Products must be sold packaged with a bait station, which must meet the new bait station requirements.
- Pelletized corn cellulose (which is not an anti-coagulant but works as a digestive-disruption) will still be available in pellet form.
Due to this impending ban we were required to stop production on Second Generation baits (single feeding), and pelletized, loose seed, and meal forms of First-Generation baits (multi-feeding), as of December 31, 2012.
Retailers had time to sell off any remaining stock by June 30, 2014, with end users generally having up to three years to use the bait.
Here is a list of new rodenticide products we have introduced in response to this ban:
- Wilson Warfarin Re-usable Bait Station Kit (Warfarin – 1 station, 16 blocks)
- Wilson Warfarin Block Single Use Bait Station (Warfarin – Packages of 1, 3 or 6 stations with block)
- Wilson Wilsarin Rat & Mouse Killer (Corn Cellulose pellets – 6 ea or 12 ea x 60g bags)
- Wilson Predator Rat Bait Station Pre-filled (Diphacinone – 1 station with block)
- Wilson Predator Mouse Bait Station (Diphacinone – 1 or 4 station with block)
- Wilson Predator Rat & Mouse Killer (Corn Cellulose pellets – 6 ea or 12 ea x 60g bags)
- Wilson Predator Mouse Bait Station Kit (Diphacinone – 1 station, 8 blocks)
- Wilson Riddex Mouse Bait Station Pre-filled (Chlorophacinone – 2 ea or 6 ea x 40g station with block)
- Wilson Riddex Mouse Bait Station Kit (Chlorophacinone – 1 station, 20 blocks)
t is very tempting in the spring to apply a wood mulch, such as Cedar, fir or bark Mulches and chips down the center of your vegetable rows, creating walking paths that will also help reduce weed growth, but it is not something that we would recommend.
Wood mulches tend to remove nitrogen from the soil when they first begins to break down and as most vegetables require some nitrogen for proper growth, they tend to suffer if they have to compete for this essential nutrient. Also, as your vegetable garden is constantly in flux, replant can be hindered by the cedar mulch. Cedar mulch can take up to 10 years to completely break down, therefore also posing the problem of tilling the garden bed every spring. There have also been instances where the cedar may begins to release toxic substances that may damage or kill tender young vegetables.
Wood Mulches are wonderful, but they are best used in permanent garden beds where the soil does not require tilling or replanting on a regular basis. They are also a fabulous cover for garden paths, creating blasts of colour and a soft surface to walk on.
Better choices for your vegetable garden would be an organic compost, leave mold, landscape fabric, plastic sheets, newspaper, or even straw. It would be worth while doing a little research to determine which is best type for the varieties of vegetables that you are trying to grow. None of these will deprive the nutrient levels from the soil, and some of them will actually increase the nutrient levels.
Nematodes are a form of pest control.
A nematode is a microscopic worm. Beneficial Nematodes will seek out specific target insects and enter through their natural body openings. Once inside the target insect, the nematodes release their bacteria, which multiply and eventually kill the host, but not before the nematodes develop into adults, reproduce, and produce offspring. Approximately 14 days after initial infection, the new generation of nematodes emerge from the dead insect and search for new insect hosts. If no other hosts are present, the nematodes will die off.
Nematodes are a safe choice for children and pets. Because Green Earth Nematodes will not survive in temperatures over 30 C, they are completely safe to use on areas where children and pets will play. Even if they are ingested, the nematodes will quickly die-off, as our internal temperatures are higher than 30 C.