Momma Told Me: I've Got Ant's In My....Well, Let Me List Where I Don't Have Ants...

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I've Got Ant's In My....Well, Let Me List Where I Don't Have Ants...

Did you know that ants will commonly move in after termites are exterminated? They can feed off the moisture in dead bodies for over a year! Protect your home and understand the pest cycle!
Momma Told Me: You've got ants in your pants!

Sadly, these days it seems the list of where I don't have ants is much shorter than the latter. I wouldn't be surprised if they walked off with the dog any day now- in fact, in a home that has been aggressively treating for, and preventative maintaining with cleanliness and food storage, I fear I may have by now bred some sort of super ants. Before you begin writing comments of how I should sprinkle cinnamon around appliances (check), spray my counter tops and ledges with a vinegar mixture (check), put out ant hotels and bait (check), double bag all food- even the sealed (check) or daub essential oils on crevices and hinges (check); let me tell you I have done those things.
Ants eating a piece of fruit.
We get ants every year you see it is one of those seasonal things that springs up intensely during the Southern California Summer. And, ever since moving into our condo it has been a constant batter each year; only rewarded by the Fall emergence of the Red Back Jumping Spiders (which feed on the ants, but also happen to have a venomous bite.) I should also state that I am not one to feel as though ants, spiders and such, have no place anywhere near my house- they each have their place (the spiders especially), I merely do not enjoy sharing my living quarters with them. I'd much rather they stay outside.

Especially when I pull back my shower curtain to reveal a blanket of ants only previously illustrated in apocalyptic and horror films. And as this season began I thought it seemed markedly worse, when the 'trails' grew to 5-8 thick overnight, coming out of the walls in search of water... But, in general, when you share walls with anyone it is impossible to maintain  pest free residence unless all neighbors are keeping up their own interiors as well; so I bravely fought skin crawling instances of ants in my bed, crawling along the dog, and floating belly up in the cats water bowl. I tried every home remedy, and even some store bought ones until I at last cracked and hired a professional to evaluate the situation (keeping in mind my shared walls would require monthly treatments.)
So I have ants and it is all very overwhelming- I will spare you my horror shots; but the purpose of this article is to bring to light a fact you may not know which has shed some light on the reason for our impending armies of black insects. Ants primarily forage in homes for moisture, ie; water- they will go for water, and be seen in cooler, moist, places such as garages and bathrooms (under cabinets) before they will grow in strength enough to search for 'food' in pantry cupboards, etc. They typically are found within wood, when inside homes, living in the walls or under the foundation. Taking these two facts into account the following will make perfect sense.

The first question the exterminator asked? "Do you have termites, or have you treated for termites in the past year?" Soak that in for a moment. A year. That means, if you have treated for termites (up to 18 months ago) you may be inviting even more pest problems. It turns out, not only do ants survive off of the moisture within dead termites, but they can effectively build a nest inside the hollowed wood termites originally cleared away. And we're taking near a half a million ants for a single colony! While the HOA treated for termites a year ago at our condo, it seems they have only begun a whole new slew of pest problems for me, the humble renter. The moral of the story? Don't assume because on pest is gone, your troubles are over. Proactively treat for ants, which will replace termites, and the spiders which will replace the ants!

What Daughter Says: Thanks to termites, I have ants in my walls....and that's certainly enough to make me antsy!

14 comments:

  1. I knew none of those facts! Ants are a pet peeve of mine, they creep me out more than any other insect. I'll spare you the mean older brother story that goes with that!

    Okay, I know you have probably tried this, but have you tried Tea Tree oil? They hate it. Dip a q-tip in the bottle and find where they're coming in from. Use it full-strength.

    Good luck lady!

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  2. My MIL had the worst problem with them in Hawaii - and termites are a horrible problem there too. I wondered if your drought is also contributing to their numbers this year.

    We don't have termites here and I've hardly seen any ants but the flies and stink bugs are apocalyptic this year. It seems the bugs are out to get us.

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  3. I didn't know how persistent ants were. :/ We've had ant problems before here in the desert and it was really horrifying and frustrating. We have our entire house perimeter exterminated each month and haven't had any ants since... but we do still have scorpions coming in!!

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  4. This post made my skin feel itchy! We use Tea Tree oil to keep them out of the house!

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  5. Ants don't really bother me. Roaches are another story.

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  6. We had ants once and called the exterminator to check it out. He comes monthly anyway, but they had invaded in just a few days! It turned out that they burrowed under our cement floor in the sunroom. I had no idea they would do that.

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  7. It seems every year here in WA we have an ant problem when the rains start up! It pushes them in side. I had no idea about the termites leading to ants!

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  8. OH jeez, that'd be so frustrating! They can get anywhere!

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  9. We had a problem with ants but I used peppermint oil to get rid of them!

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  10. Yuck. I think we need to get an inspection. I am telling my husband about this.

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  11. We have an exterminator come every month

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  12. I had ants in my walls in the previous house - I didn't matter what we did - they kept coming back - URG!

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  13. sounds totally 'no way!'... but mix half&half powdered sugar & baking soda in a sealed container... shake it up & leave sealed a few hours... Then leave a few piles for the lil bugs... They will swarm these piles but can't tell the difference between the sugar & the soda... (You WANT them to carry it back to the nest... so resist the urge to squash them...) FYI... insects can't burp... they die...

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  14. i totally hate ants and any crawling insects. If i see one, i usually put some vinegar outside our main door as they say it drives ants.

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