A rather overused, but nevertheless relevant quote from Benjamin Franklin.
And one I find very valuable in my own exercises into self education as I loathe teaching from nothing more than ‘book smarts’ and would rather where ever practical and possible have real boots on the ground experiences with the pests themselves.
As a consequence I have a agreement with the local pest control community to call me up whenever they think they have something of interest for a ride along. And today Richard asked me along to a little block of flats for one of my favourite pests, Pharaohs Ants, Monomorium pharaonis
These tiny ants are fascinating, like all pests they need the ‘trinity’ of survival; food, water and harbourage, but it is this last where the Pharaoh ant becomes super interesting. You see, there is a reason that pharaonis is one of the worlds most widespread species. And it is in no small part due to their propensity to create very large polygynous and polycalic colonies.
Polygynous meaning a colony that shares many Queens, and polycalic meaning one that may well inhabit multiple discrete locations. This high propensity towards polydomous behaviour can make traditional methods of eradication difficult, as treatments such as powders will only serve to, at best kill part of the nest, and at work cause the nests to break down into satellite communities, potentially pushing them into neighbouring properties
So what’s the answer when dealing with these fascinating mini beasts? Well, in a word, trophallaxis. This is literally the distribution of food between a ‘shared’ stomach. As such treatments such as Bait and Gels, excel against such fractured and cryptic pests, literally allowing the foraging ants to do all the hard work on your behalf!