A few years ago, during an exceptionally dry summer, I told a customer that the ants in his kitchen and bathroom were seeking water. The following spring brought a lot of rain, and I found myself back in his kitchen, explaining that the latest ant invasion was a consequence of the ground being saturated. “When it’s dry, I have ants. When it’s wet, I have ants,” he exclaimed, frustrated. “I can’t win!”
The truth is that extreme weather conditions of all kinds tend to drive ants inside, especially during the spring. We even get calls for ants after winter snowstorms. So far, the spring of 2013 has brought both snow and temperatures in the 80's, just a few weeks apart. And the ants are back, right on schedule.
We’ll take a closer look at specific ant species, such as the odorous house ant and carpenter ant, in upcoming posts, for but now here are some suggestions for dealing with them.
The best way to eliminate most ants is with a perimeter treatment, and an indoor treatment in the infested rooms, though it’s often possible to eliminate an infestation by spraying only the exterior. Ants are rarely found in crawlspaces. We offer both one-time perimeter sprays and a year-round Premium Protection Plan; click here for more information.
While you’re waiting for the exterminator to arrive, or waiting for his treatment to do its work, you might need to kill ants quickly. This is often the case in restaurants. For a quick fix, look to your household cleaners. Many of them, including glass cleaners, kill ants on contact without the odor or residue of a pesticide from the hardware store. This is not a long-term solution — the colony will continue to reproduce and send new workers into the house — but it’s certainly preferable to cooking while ants frolic on the counter, or closing sections of commercial establishments because of the unwanted visitors.