When ants start digging up soil between pavers, it can quickly ruin the look of your patio, paths and driveway. Left long enough, their excavations will start to undermine your pavers, causing pavers to sink and wobble – potentially unsafe and definitely more expensive to fix!
At the first sign of ants digging around your pavers, it’s best to nip the problem in the bud by carrying out a pest treatment. But which techniques and products should you employ to get the best results?
There are two techniques that can be used:
- Excluding ants from the area
- Nest elimination
Although each technique could be used on their own, using the techniques in combination will provide the best results.
How to exclude ants from your paved areas…
These techniques don’t really exclude ants from the whole paved area; they just stop ants from digging into the dirt and sand from in between the pavers, as they build their nests.
Applying a long lasting insecticide to the dirt in between the pavers will kill any ants already present and either kill or repel other ants tempted to start digging. The gaps in between the pavers can be treated with either a liquid insecticide, such as PestXpert Outdoor perimeter, or an insecticide granule/sand, such as PestXpert Pro Granules.
It is important to treat every crack and crevice. If using liquid insecticide, apply enough insecticide to thoroughly soak the dirt. If using an insecticide granule, either pour the granules directly into each crack or sprinkle granules over the whole area and then use a broom to sweep the granules into all the cracks.
The length of protection provided by such treatments depends on the level of exposure to sun and rain. Typically, such techniques should prevent ants digging up the paved areas for around 2-3 months, after which the area would need to be re-treated.
Re-treating is important, as the treatments are not designed to kill ant nests. Certainly any nests outside the treated area will be looking to move in as soon as the treatment wears off. This is why treatments to eliminate nests are also a good idea.
Nest elimination with ant baits…
Ant baits are the smart way to eliminate an ant problem. Baits consist of a food attractive to the ants and a slow acting insecticide(s). Ants take the bait back to the nest and feed it to their nest mates, including the queen. The slow acting insecticides allow the ants to consume all the bait before they experience any toxic effects. By the time it kicks in, it’s too late, they have all eaten the bait and the colony is doomed. The challenge with using ant baits is that you need to choose bait attractive to the species of ant causing the problem – each species of ant has slightly different food preferences and these preferences change throughout the year.
An ideal solution for this problem is PestXpert Nest Kill Ant Bait. The bait contains two different food granules to appeal to a wide range of ant species and maintain attractiveness as their food preferences change. Consisting of a protein granule and a carbohydrate-based granule, this bait is ideally suited to outdoor ants that tend to be protein feeders.
Bait can be applied over the paved and lawn areas, anywhere where the ants are active and they will take the bait back to the nest and do the hard work for you.
An application of PestXpert Nest Kill Ant Bait will have a significant impact within 24-72 hours, with the nest eliminated within 1-2 weeks. However, there are some tricks to getting the best performance from PestXpert Nest Kill Ant Bait.
Although baits are great for eliminating ant nests they don’t stop new ants moving into the area, which is why baits should be used in combination with a liquid insecticide or insecticide granule to provide complete protection.
Unfortunately, your ant free yard will be particularly attractive to other ants in the neighbourhood. So if your house is in an area of high ant pressure, regular treatments may be required to prevent more ants moving in.
Top tip: When using both products in combination, it is important to carry out the bait treatment first and wait a day or so before applying the residual insecticide. This is because the residual insecticide can affect ant foraging behaviour, reducing the effectiveness of the bait performance.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Granular ANT BAITS are not the same as insecticide granules (or sand). Baits contain food and are taken back to the nest – they are designed to kill the whole colony / nest. Insecticide granules are a contact insecticide, killing insects when they come into contact with the granules – they are designed to exclude insects from a particular area, they are unlikely to kill the nest.