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Some insect pests are more difficult to control than others, and very few insect pests establish the sort of infestations that can be eradicated by everyday residents who are not licensed pest control professionals. Termites are widely considered to be the most difficult insect pests to eliminate from infested homes due to their large and well-concealed colonies, their relatively small body size, and their habit of establishing an unseen presence within structural wood. While eradicating termite infestations is certainly laborious and challenging, integrated pest management (IPM) methods outline a clear procedure for detecting, treating and preventing termite infestations.

Roaches and bed bugs are also difficult to eliminate from infested homes due to their resistance to insecticide formulations, but modern IPM methods do not focus on chemical treatments; instead, IPM methods for cockroach control focus on indoor moisture reduction, sanitation, and remedial baits. Active bed bug infestations are often eliminated with high heat that may be used in conjunction with conservative insecticide applications for optimal results. Surprisingly, many pest control professionals agree that, as a group, ants are the most difficult insect pests to eliminate from infested homes. According to a recent nationwide survey, ant pest issues generate more callbacks to pest control companies than any other insect pest.

It probably won’t come as a surprise to most people that bed bugs once generated the greatest number of callbacks to pest control companies, but this was before the pests became well controlled with heat treatments. Ant pests are difficult to eradicate from homes because many species can nest both outside and in obscure and often inaccessible indoor areas, such as wall voids, tight attic spaces and beneath floorboards. In order to eliminate ants within a home, all of their nests must be destroyed, and this often includes multiple secondary nests within homes, as well as one large primary nest outdoors.

Mature ant nests contain thousands of foraging workers, and these are the ants that residents find indoors. Killing worker ants in homes is largely a waste of time, as the queen will continue to produce additional workers rapidly. This is why queen ants must be taken out in order to eliminate an infestation, but unfortunately, most ant pests see multiple queens in one single colony, which greatly complicates remedial pest control measures. The most difficult ant pests to control in Massachusetts include Pharaoh ants, little black ants, crazy ants and acrobat ants.

Have you ever had to call a pest control professional back after an initial pest treatment failed to eradicate an infestation?