Today, we have a guest article which was submitted through our new “Submit an Article” form. If you would like to have your own article published on LiP, please send in an article and watch for it to be published here on LiP!
If you ever stepped foot in the Philippines, you know the bugs here are in great numbers. Roaches as big as your thumb thought there are not many of them but you may have seen a few of these beasts flying around.
The biggest pest, in my opinion, is ants. About any place else in the world, ants hibernate during the winter and flourish in the summer. In most parts of the Philippines, the ants flourish year around. They get everywhere and are in everything. Especially the kitchen. It’s normal to see a few lines of ants in the kitchen window.
You go to the store and buy a can of poison. If I remember right, Baygon costs over P200 for a big can. You spray the house down and sure it kills every ant it touches. But after a month the poison is gone and you have to spray again. This is horrible. Not just the ants but exposing yourself and others, children to the spray so often.
Normally, if you see ants, there is food somewhere near they are getting. And you can go crazy looking for the food to clean it up. That is exactly what you have to do to help get rid of the ants. My AC is in my bedroom. So it is perfectly normal to watch TV in the bed and munch on some chips. Sleep with ants!
In the US, I had a friend who worked for a national termite exterminator company. The chemical they use, they guarantee it for 7 years if I remember right. Part of the contract is they will come back and inspect and if they see any signs of termites they re-treat. But still, 7 years!
The chemical they use is called fipronil. This chemical is a bad boy to pretty much all insects including ants and roaches. A few things about this chemical is they believe the insect cannot detect it and if they come in contact with it, they will die. If one roach dies from it, it can kill ten more roaches because roaches will eat the dead.
This poison is also very deadly to aquatic life and some animals like fowl I believe. So it is a chemical that you want to be very careful in using especially around chickens.
One of the other pests this chemical is used in treating is fleas. In fact they sell this chemical to pet owners and you put it directly on the pet and it keeps the fleas off for at least 30 days. The brand is called Frontline. And this is what I use to treat ants at my home. It works very well.
I was talking about this on another board like this. The subject was on inverter air conditioners. Ants getting in the electronics and burning out the inverter board. I told them about fipronil. A guy wrote back and said he had a hole in the floor, tried to patch it but the ants would just dig through. He got some fipronil and put it in the hole and never seen anymore ants.
Because they can’t detect this poison, it is likely the queen may succumb to the poison too if the fipronil contaminates the ant’s food supply. And that is exactly how I treat these pests.
Here is what I do. This poison isn’t real cheap. You can buy the Fronline spray and the way the bottle sprays, it doesn’t last for long. Plus, as I said, you don’t want to get this around birds or fish.
I simply make a bait. I use pancake syrup. You can use about anything you want. But I would use one spray for every ounce of bait. You don’t want to make to too strong as it may kill them before they can take the food back to the nest. Once you make this, if you see any ants, just give them some and they will eat it up. I started using a little piece of cracker. Dip it in the solution and put it near the ant trail. No more ants after a few hours. You will notice a change very quick.
Lately, I simply take a little 1cm square piece of paper towel and dip it in the solution. The ants get on that towel and they get every spec of it. You see no more ants. They will not be back.
Fronline can be found in some pet stores. There is another brand that I found in Cebu (Unit 108-109 Marijoy Bldg., F. Ramos St), close to Pier 1. It is called Effipro. The bigger 250ml bottle cost me P1200. I bought the little 100ml bottle Frontline in Angono for around P650 at a pet store I lived near.
Effipro is a bit cheaper if you can find it. Some places you are not going to be able to find any fipronil. I can’t find any in Ormoc City where I live now. You can try Lazada or OLX if you want. At times it is listed on Lazada but not always.
If you want to try this, remember to not use too much. A little goes a long way if you make a bait. And another advantage is you control the poison a lot better by putting the bait in a very small area. Keep your family safe. For the bait, ants like sweet so you can use almost anything. The other guy I mentioned before used honey.
Anytime you use the bait, make sure you stir or mix it up. I think the chemical will separate so this is an important rule to follow. I keep mine in a little plastic bottle with a lid on it. I shake it up before each use.
Lastly, there are millions if not billions of ants. You may kill the queen of the ants but sure enough another colony will take its place. So you will always want to have your bait on standby. I found the ants are very, very active during the hot season, March, April, and May. These months you will be a bit busy chasing them around. But they all die the same.
My kitchen window is no longer Grand Central Station for the ants.