By Oretta Croushore, Property Manager for Home Rental Services
Word on the street is, it’s going to be actual Spring here pretty soon. That means warmer, sunnier days, buds on the trees, flowers, and all the critters starting to frolic about. Not all of those critters have cute bushy tails or pretty feathers. Some of them go marching and can lift up to 100 times their body weight.
I’m talking about ants.
Ants like to make their presence known as we start to move into spring. They seem to come from nowhere in droves. It’s disconcerting to have insects in the house. It doesn’t really matter if they are disease carrying or poisonous. No one likes to see the creepy crawlies in their house. (They are a little judgmental, if you ask me.)
Recently, a friend of mine was exhausted from taking care of her three little kids, the house, and working full time while her husband was away on business. One night, she collapsed on the couch after the kids were in bed only to remember there were a few dishes from dinner in the sink. She decided the dishes would be okay until the morning and chose to rest instead of tackling them. (Seems respectable to me. Put your own mask on first, self care, and all that.)
The antagonistic ants, possibly the Karens of the insect world, greeted her the next morning when she came downstairs. They were crawling all over the few items in the sink. I suspect they were asking to see the manager about the dried out status of the mac and cheese on the baby’s high chair tray. Such attitude! Vampires can’t even enter your home unless you invite them.
“But, Oretta, I don’t want to be judged by insects I didn’t invite into my home. That’s what in-laws are for!”Anonymous
A good defense is the best offense.
Rinse off the dishes, wipe the counters, keep pet food picked up and pick up any crumbs you drop. When we were first married, we lived in a townhome. They would send out notices about keeping insects at bay. I still remember one thing they always had noted. It said a tiny crumb to a human is a feast for an unwanted pest. I picture an ant grabbing up that bit of cracker I dropped, plating it, tying his little napkin around his neck and carving his roast beast (or Ritz beast in this case).
The Solution? Terro.
If they do come marching into your house, don’t fret. Visit your local Walmart, Target, Lowes, Home Depot, Ace Hardware or Amazon.com. Go to the pest control products section and get some Terro. It comes in several different forms. I like the liquid and bait traps myself. They are little plastic containers of ant poison. You break off the end and ants are attracted to the liquid inside. They are relatively mess free. On a side note, if I put them on the floor, I have to tape them down to the linoleum because my cats think it’s funny to knock them around.
You put the Terro traps around the area where you’ve seen the ants coming inside. Here’s the part that will have you questioning the advice I give… You are going to see the activity increase at first. Why? Because you’ve set up a little ant discotech and it’s the hottest place in town. You have to be strong and refrain from killing them. What happens is, they come in, get some of that great ant punch Club Terro is famous for. Then, they take some of that punch back to the colony and pass around the flask for everyone. Pretty soon, the whole colony takes a little dirt nap and your house has been released from their siege. Usually within a week or so, you will see a serious reduction in your unwanted visitors.
Hopefully, armed with the knowledge that you have the power to tackle this beast, you can enjoy your Spring without antagonistic ants greeting you in the morning.