Industry News

How to tackle tricky ant infestations with the right solutions

By Eric Paysen, Ph.D., technical services manager, Professional Pest Management, Syngenta

Ants pose challenges by being incredibly diverse pests with thousands of different species. This diversity extends to their habits and feeding preferences. Where they nest, when they’re active and what they prefer to eat can affect whether you experience a successful treatment or numerous call backs.

Unfortunately, there’s no silver bullet that will address all species and situations. Ant control products vary greatly by active ingredient, formulation and use pattern, so knowing which tools are most effective and how to apply them is a learned skill that is necessary for ant control.

Let’s focus on an often overlooked formulation in ant management: solid granular baits. They are likely well-known by PMPs working in regions with red imported fire ants. Fire ant infestations are sometimes exacerbated by liquid treatments, which can cause colonies to fracture and spread at a rapid pace.

Granular baits like Advion® fire ant bait have been specifically formulated for this species and contain insecticide-laced oil on an inert solid carrier. This plays to the imported fire ant’s affinity for lipids as a food source. In addition, species like big-headed ants and other fat-loving species can be managed effectively with Advion fire ant bait. ​​​​​​​

Other granular insecticide baits are formulated with a variety of solid food components, composed primarily of carbohydrates and proteins. These products are important as baits because of their ability to incorporate protein in a solid formulation. This is not the case with widely-used gel bait formulations, which are often composed exclusively of carbohydrates.

Granular baits are effective at managing many pests with chewing mouthparts, ranging from cockroaches and crickets to ants. Advion insect granule is an effective, broad-spectrum granular bait, which can be used in integrated pest management programs targeting large-colony ants like odorous house ants, Argentine ants and carpenter ants.

Applying granular baits can be accomplished by two methods:

  • Spot/scatter applications can be:

    • Made via ready-to-use packaging

    • Distributed by hand in areas with a high concentration of ants

    • Applied in a 3- to 5-ft. radius around the entrance of the nest

    • Applied to the following areas for maximum efficiency:

      • Potted plants

      • Planter beds

      • Cracks and crevices

      • Other small areas

  • Broadcast applications can be:

    • Applied over a larger area with a spreader

    • Used with electric spreaders to increase efficiency

    • Effective for large-colony ants or fire ants


This year, Syngenta will be launching a new, palatable solid granular bait. This new formulation, featuring a unique blend of proprietary carbohydrates and proteins, has shown outstanding results internally and in university trials against large-colony ants, Turkestan cockroaches and a variety of other prominent pests. Additionally, this product can be easily spread through a variety of application equipment types and produces minimal dust during application. Stay tuned for more details later this year.

Don’t let ants cause trouble for your customers: choose the right tools for your specific needs to ensure ant control success. For more information about effective ant control, contact your local Syngenta territory manager.



​​​​​​​©2020 Syngenta. Important: Always read and follow label instructions. Some products may not be registered for sale or use in all states or counties and/or may have state-specific use requirements. Please check with your local extension service to ensure registration and proper use. Advion® and the Syngenta logo are trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company. Syngenta Customer Center: 1-866-SYNGENT(A) (796-4368).


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© Syngenta. Important: Always read and follow label instructions. Some products may not be registered for sale or use in all states or counties and/or may have state-specific use requirements. Please check with your local extension service to ensure registration and proper use. The trademarks displayed or otherwise used herein are trademarks or service marks of a Syngenta Group Company or third parties. Syngenta Customer Center: 1-866-SYNGENT(A) (796-4368).