For some, there is something darkly pleasing about being able to wipe out a swarming colony of ants by nuking them with a can of ant spray. It is instant gratification (if you are into that sort of thing) which leaves you thinking that you have made massive progress on the war on ants in your home. The most common weapon of choice that people use comes in an aerosol can with the name RAID! on it. It is so popular that nearly everyone has heard of it. The can clearly states that the product is designed to kill ants and that it is labeled for indoor use, so what could possibly be the problem? Well, I am so glad you asked:
Spraying with RAID! can actually make the ant problem worse!
It can be difficult to convince someone that killing ants with RAID! is a bad thing when trying to get rid of an ant infestation. Sure, you can kill a lot of the scouts on contact and experience temporary relief for awhile. In fact, you might even enjoy a couple of weeks thinking that you did a really fine job in handling these things yourself. However, as soon as those scout ants are killed and stop bringing food back to the nest, the queen ant starts producing more.
On top of this, RAID! is a repellent and it creates panic in the nest. If the colony senses that it is under attack, several bad things happen. In addition to reproducing at a higher rate, the ant colony may also split through a process that we in the industry call “budding”. What this means is that the colony splits into several smaller colonies and now, instead of having them just in the kitchen, you now have them in your bathroom, bedroom and living room.
Fumes and odors
Using any kind of aerosol can is bad for the environment, but in my opinion, it is especially bad when you are talking about pesticides. I am not trying to just pick on RAID! because all over the counter pesticides are similar (RAID! is just the one that everyone has heard about). Anyway, when you spray an aerosol pesticide you are fumigating your home and those fumes can be inhaled and make your house smell pretty bad as well. Products that pest control companies use are “non-repellents” (that are not available over the counter) and come in a liquid form. So, in other words, we would use a combination of sprays (not fumes) and baits.
If you are convinced by now to not use store bought pesticide sprays, but also cannot really afford to have a pest control company come out and treat for you, let me give you two options. First, you can take a look at our coupon page and possibly reconsider having us come out and help you or you can try using store bought baits. Listen, store bought baits will only get you so far, but they do not have any negative effects (like the repellent based sprays all do).
If you want to try the store bought baiting approach, let me give you a few pointers. It you take a look at my do-it-yourself page on Squidoo.com, you will find helpful techniques as well as recommended products to buy. If nothing works out for you after trying these things, be sure to give me a call. I would be happy to give you a few more pointers!