Bug of the Month: Ants

“Ants come and ants go.” That’s what my pest control maven, Vinny Boombah, tells me every spring. So, if you find ants in your home at this time of year, do not panic. More often than not, they just leave. Some folks nuke them with toxic materials, and they still come back. Chances are your ants are the small brown or reddish variety. They are seeking sweets, meat or greasy foods.

Ants are fairly easy to discourage. If you want to help them leave, here is what you can do.

Clean ferociously and store food in tight containers. Don’t leave dirty dishes around. Wipe down countertops with vinegar and put some soapy water in a spray bottle and zap the ants. In addition to killing them instantly, the soap destroys the scent trail they lay down for other ants.

Try to find their point of entry and lay down a barrier of black pepper or powdered cleanser. Caulk points of entry or squirt dish soap in there. Try an organic ant bait—one that contains boric acid, such as Terro or Drax—not toxic ones.

If you still have some ants, don’t despair, and don’t call in the big guns. Just remember Vinny’s pearl of wisdom: ants come and ants go.

For more information, read Tiny Game Hunting by Hilary Dole Klein, or go to www.beyondpesticidesohio.org.

Barry Zucker

Barry Zucker is executive director of Beyond Pesticides Ohio.

Read More on Bug of the Month
Volume 5, Issue 4, Posted 10:56 AM, 04.04.2012