Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ants March in to Many Households and the Pests Are Tough to Eliminate

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ants March in to Many Households and the Pests Are Tough to Eliminate

Article excerpt

Warm weather can bring ants marching in

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VICTORIA - Opening a bag of sugar to find ants crawling about is an experience no one wants to have, yet ants are a common pest many householders battle annually.

Jennifer Murphy, a Victoria resident, had just moved into her new home when she started to think there might be a pest problem. First she found ants in a large bag of sugar, and then while her husband was chopping vegetables he was bitten by an ant, and the pain was so intense he cut himself.

"We were annoyed," says Murphy. "But we knew that because we live in a warm climate, bugs were bound to come around. We had just moved in so we needed to figure out where they were coming from."

The potential entry point and cause of what Murphy believes was a carpenter ant problem was a disconnected dryer vent and a woodpile stacked against the outside wall of the house.

"We moved the woodpile away from the house and connected the vent," she says. "We squished all the ones we found in the house, and that seemed to get rid of them pretty quick."

Kurtis Brown, technical supervisor at Victoria Pest Control, says the nesting structure of carpenter and odorous house ants, the two most common types, means there is only so much people can do to avoid a problem.

"Many ants are seeking moisture. Making sure our homes are in good repair, where we fix leaks and we aren't piling soil over our foundations and on to our siding," says Brown.

To deter ants, avoid planting anything in the garden that will attract aphids. Brown says ants are aphid farmers and will move them from around plants to feed on their droppings.

"If you are going to plant something that are prone to aphids, it's important to make sure the aphid population doesn't get out of control," he says. "The relationship between ants and aphids is important, and it is important to avoid planting vegetation right next to our houses where aphids and ants can be found."

Carpenter and odorous house ants are particularly problematic because of the way they develop their nests and colonies. Brown says carpenter ants, which have one queen, develop satellite colonies where they move larva, which is what is normally found in a home. …

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