Gel Bait Applicators
The Hawaiʻi Ant Lab (HAL) developed a recipe for a bait matrix which forms a gel that can be applied into trees and other vegetation where Little Fire Ants (LFA) often nest. HAL has tinkered over the years, trying to find better ways to apply the HAL gel bait for small and large property owners alike. The goal was to find application methods that resulted in tiny droplets (good spray pattern) and can reach high into tree canopies. Some of our inventions were a success while others were a lot of fun but not very successful. You can see the evolution of our inventions over the years in the videos below.
The Antstinguisher is a modified water fire extinguisher outfitted for pneumatic pressurizing. This is can be used with a small pressurized air canister or air compressor. Although the Antstinguisher can hold 2-3 gal of bait and is easy to use (no pumping necessary!!), the “downside” is that it takes some work to modify properly. If you would like to build your own Antstinguisher, follow this diagram.
The Antigator is simply a utility vehicle (gator) with multiple Antstinguishers and an air compressor mounted in the bed. This is a great option for larger farms since you can haul a large amount of bait in the vehicle. One person drives while a second person rides along or walks and applies gel bait to the ground, trees, and vegetation. The Antigator makes quick work of treating large areas with only a couple of people.
The Master Blaster is a pneumatic grease gun filled with gel bait. It uses a small compressed air canister (such as a paintball air canister) with pressure regulator. Though it works really well, this one might be for the “mad scientist” type of person who likes to tinker with contraptions and not for the “everyday person”. It doesn’t hold mush bait and is far more expensive to build compared to just buying a heavy duty ZEP squirt bottle. But hey! It sure is fun!
Spackler of Death
The Spackler of Death is similar to the master blaster except it used a pneumatic texture sprayer with a large hopper to hold bait. This gives you a better spray pattern than the master blaster does but is kind of cumbersome and top heavy. Like the Master Blaster, this one is for the tinkerers out there and probably not for the everyday person.
Homax Texture Gun
The Homax Texture Gun is a ready-to-use hand powered texture sprayer that can be filled with gel bait. Unlike the Spackler of Death, this is not pneumatic and is manually pumped to apply the bait. Although this does give a good spray pattern, it doesn’t have good range and will not get bait into the trees very well.
The Brentonator is a homemade water balloon bazooka and uses pressurized air. This thing shoots FAR! Unfortunately, it only works with water balloons and not with “bait balloons”. Once we filled balloons up with the gel bait, the latex/rubber reacted with the oil in the bait and they burst at the slightest touch. While the Brentonator did NOT work as an application contraption, it was so much fun playing with it and totally worth the time!