By Chris Keefer, Ph.D., technical services manager, Syngenta Professional Pest Management
Perimeter pest control can be challenging because of the large variety of pests that can be present. Along the perimeter, you may encounter ants, cockroaches, spiders and many other pests each day. The key to success is focusing on one pest group at a time and making precision applications with the appropriate active ingredients and formulations.
To provide your customers freedom from perimeter pests, it’s important to understand their biology, behavior and how best to control the common pests found in your region. For instance, ant feeding can change across seasons. Become familiar with the top pests in your region, which may include several species of ants, cockroaches and/or medically important spiders. Being able to identify these pests can help speed up your treatment process and allow you to converse with customers about the pest’s biology, management strategies and the expected outcomes.
Key points to remember for perimeter pest control:
- Allow enough time to do a thorough inspection and treatment
- Interview and listen to the customer while taking notes
- Be properly equipped with a hand lens, identification booklet, flashlight and collection container
- Identify conducive conditions and communicate them to the customer verbally, in writing and with photos (if allowed to take photos)
- Note potential entry points for pests and offer exclusion services, if appropriate or necessary
- Inspect shrubs and trees for honeydew producers (HDPs), as large-colony ants will tend HDPs as a food source
- When making a perimeter treatment, apply 20% of the finished solution to the structure and 80% to the turf adjacent to the structure
- Apply a higher volume of finished solution to areas with conducive conditions, or where pests are found harboring and foraging
- Pull back mulch in flower beds to see if ants are lying in wait just under the upper layer of the soil
- Follow the label and treat with a high volume and low concentration of a liquid insecticide, which will allow the product to penetrate through the mulch to where ants are hiding
- If HDPs are present, consider using a dual-active ingredient product such as Tandem® insecticide
- Thiamethoxam is systemic and will eliminate HDPs, while lambda-cyhalothrin will reduce the ant population
- Outside the liquid treatment zone, use a granular bait like Advion® Insect granular bait to control ants, crickets, peridomestic cockroaches and other perimeter pests
- Use gel baits, such as Advion Ant and Optigard® Ant gel baits, in cracks and crevices, being careful not to contaminate baits with sprays
- Use a dry flowable bait, such as Advion MicroFlow insect bait, to treat deep into cracks, crevices and voids, and seal pest entry point
With proper education and knowledge of control efforts, you can provide your customers extended control of perimeter pests. For more information about effective perimeter pest control, visit SyngentaPMP.com or contact your local Syngenta territory manager
© 2023 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®, For Life Uninterrupted™, Optigard®, Tandem® and the Syngenta logo are trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company. Syngenta Customer Center: 1-866-SYNGENT(A) (796-4368).