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Should I See Ants After an Exterminator Comes and Places Bait?

Updated on: July 26, 2021

You paid good money for a pest control treatment but still, you see bugs after the exterminator has sprayed and/or placed baits in your home or office. Does this mean that the treatment has failed? After all, there are some cases that ant treatments will take more than once to completely flush out the pests completely. But seeing ants after the exterminator has done the work in your property doesn’t automatically mean you didn’t get your money’s worth.

So should you see ants after an exterminator comes and places bait? The answer is yes, and there are several reasons for this and they are not necessarily negative. It could be that your home was just recently serviced, or this is your first ant control treatment, or maybe because you had lots of bugs to start with. If you’re still seeing bugs after your exterminator’s visit, it’s usually nothing to be alarmed about. 


How Ant Baiting Works

First, you have to understand how baiting works. If you called for a professional to do this, he will be the one to set and place the bait stations along the ant trail in one or more areas on your property. The kind of bait he will use will depend on the type of ant you’re dealing with. But the most common baits used for ant infestation are the ones with sugar or protein. Most ants love sweets and naturally, they will gravitate towards the sugar bait. There are ants who prefer protein and grease, so this will need another bait. In some cases, both baits can be used, which should be determined by your exterminator. Baits and ant repellent also use other ingredients, such as boric acid.

Using fire ant bait and other liquid ant baits are considered the most effective way to eliminate carpenter ant infestation and other types of ant infestation in your home. In order to do this, you don’t just go on an ant-killing spree and empty the can of insecticide on them. Sprays do kill ants, but they are more of a short-term solution. This is where the bait comes in. It works by luring the worker ants to pick up the poisoned bait to bring back to the carpenter ant nest (and all other types of ant nest) and feed it to the rest of the ants, including the queen. Because the bait is poisoned, the ants will all die eventually and will result in the death of the ant colony itself. 

It can take several weeks for the bait station to complete the job so patience is definitely needed. The elimination of ants is slow and gradual, but the effect is intended for total eradication and you will see dead ants all around. This process could be the main reason why you’re still seeing ants after the exterminator’s visit.

Learn More: What kind of ant I have, and what bait to use?

Why You Still See Ants After the Baits Have Been Placed

ant infestation

Now that you know how liquid ant bait works as an ant killer, this part will totally make sense now. So these are the top reasons why you’re still seeing ants after the pest control visit:

Your House Was Just Serviced

It’s only natural to expect no more ants walking around your space after the exterminator has come and gone, but as explained, an ant trap takes time to work. When the pesticide on the bait traps gets on the ants, it’s not an instant kill. If your home hasn’t had ant treatment before, it could be that there are indeed a lot of ants to get rid of. 

While the liquid bait or gel bait is slowly working its magic, it’s only natural to see an increase in ant activity during the wait, at least for the first few days. The pesticides in the carpenter ant bait can also make the ants more active right after treatment, so it may look like there are more bugs than ever before. What’s happening is that they are coming out and coming near the pesticide, which is luring them.

Seeing ants within the first ten days after treatment is normal. Afterward, you may call your exterminator and ask for a check-up

This is Your First Treatment

As mentioned, if this is the first treatment for your home, most probably there are a lot of ants in your home that you haven’t seen or noticed before. It’s actually expected to see an increase in ants for the first few days after your first treatment. While the aim is to push the ants inside the home to the outside, the ants may try to escape the pesticide from the outside and will end up going inside the house. 

This is not unusual, even in exterminating other pests such as cockroach, bees, and spiders. Again, this will last for only a few days. If you’re still seeing bugs afterward, it could be that the egg cycle of the ants was not interrupted in time and the pesticide was not able to touch the new bugs. In this case, your exterminator will repeat the repellent insecticide treatment, which is often free.

The Weather is Acting Up

If the temperatures have been soaring lately and the humidity is almost unbearable, or it’s been raining a hell lot lately, there’s your reason why the foraging ants are out. Just like many bugs, ants are affected by the weather and they want to be out of wet spots. It’s not surprising to see them come out from their hiding places underground and seek dryer ground, which happens to be your home. When it’s hot, they will go out too because bugs, in general, love the heat. 

Other Reasons

Maybe you have been careless about ant prevention and you forgot to put away the food properly and or your trash was out for more than a few days. This will definitely attract the ants who are always on the lookout for food. Ignoring those little crumbs on the floor can already entice them to come out. The ants may also come out if there’s construction starting or there’s an empty lot near you. These can result in an increase in ant activity. 

Eliminate the Ants In Your Home with Permakill Exterminating

Do you need an exterminator to take care of your ant problem? When it comes to quality pest control services in New Jersey and surrounding areas, PermaKill Exterminating has your back. They deal with all kinds of ant species - carpenter ant, sugar ant, pharaoh ant, odorous house ant, pavement ant, fire ant, Argentine ant, flying ants, ghost ant, and grease ant. They also help control other pests as well, including subterranean termites, bed bugs, and rodents. Call PermaKill Exterminating now and eliminate the ants in your home or office.


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