Outdoor use of professional ant gels

There are a number of professional ant gels approved for outdoor use, including Maxforce Quantum, Advion Ant Gel and Formidor.

As these baits are sugar based, it is important to consider how to use these products outdoors in a way that minimises the risk to honey bees.

As with all insecticides, these products must be used in accordance with the label.

The product labels state ‘hazardous to bees’ and include other phrases such as ‘use only in positions inaccessible to children and animals’, ‘prevent access to baits by children and animals’ and …should be applied in areas inaccessible to children, pets, non-target organisms and beneficial insects’. From these phrases, it is clear that precautions should be taken to prevent honey bees accessing ant gels.

Applying ant gels into cracks and crevices is one way to minimise the risk to honey bees. Another way to minimise the risk to honey bees is to apply ant gels in proprietary bait stations, such as the AF Pinpoint. It i recommended that the lid of the AF Pinpoint is twisted to reduce the access points to 3mm (use the diameter of a bait rod as a guide), which allows access by foraging ants but not by worker honey bees. The reason for this is that the smallest gap a worker honey bee can get through is approximately 4.2mm.

These considerations form part of an environmental risk assessment where honey bees may be present. This assessment should be documented.