Down Comes the Rain...and Ants Come Marching In

An interview with Joel the Ant Expert, on why those little sugar ants just might be the smartest ones around...and the hardest to get rid of once they move in to your house.

The rain is back….and so are these little visitors. Truth is, they don’t like it outside in the rain, so they come scrambling inside looking for a dry place to hang out. And lo and behold, the homeowners are on vacation.  “Woohoo! Let’s stay for awhile!”

So, what’s the big deal about a few little ants checking out your house while you’re gone? Joel, resident Ant Expert over at Sunrise Pest Management, says there’s LOTS to know about these little guys.

“They are the worst ant infestation to get rid of in the Pacific Northwest,” says Joel. Imagine leaving your home vacant for an extended period of time, with no one responsible for doing inspections. Joel says it only takes a tiny bit to attract them – the soda can left inadvertently on the desk, or the lollipop “saved” on the child’s bathroom counter.

The key to getting rid of them?

Deal with them before their numbers explode. “Often I hear people say ‘oh there’s only a few of them left, we don’t need service.’  But there will only ever be approximately 10% of a colony out foraging for food at any one time,” shares Joel. “No matter the state of the colony, there are always scouts out looking for food. Even with a 5 pound bag of sugar on your floor, there will be scouts out looking for more. So when you see one or two around, that means there’s a colony close by, and when you spray and kill 200 of them in your kitchen, there’s a whole lot more hiding in the wall.”

Be Cautious of Home Treatments

“I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to refrain from spraying Raid and other aerosol pesticides, or using harsh chemicals or cleaners,” shares Joel. “Odorous ants are very unique. Unlike other ants, they are chemically sensitive and will not move through or cross over these products. So it’s easy for one group to become separated from the main group.  One of the female workers says ‘Hey, we don’t have a Queen anymore; I’ll be the Queen!’ And now you have two colonies of ants instead of one, then three colonies, and so on.  This is called blooming and it makes them a very tricky pest.  Not only this, but using instant kill products can signal the colony to produce more ants (and faster), because no ant that leaves the colony ever comes back.”

Imagine coming home to a room….or a house…full of these little ants. They’ve had a great time taking over your place while you’ve been on vacation – and it can take weeks and repeated treatments to kill the colony. Not to mention, in the meantime you have to live in the house during treatments…and let the dead ants lay there so that the living ants will carry the bodies back to the colony. Pretty picture, isn’t it?

Hiring Gig Harbor Home Management to provide Home Watch Services while you are out of town is a great step towards ensuring your home is protected and ready for you upon your return. Watching for ants and other pesky creatures is just one of many items on our regular “Inspection Checklist” that we fully complete during your absence.  And if we find a problem starting to form, we’ll make recommendations for treatment and with your permission, oversee any visits from Service Providers while you are absent.

Sunrise Pest Management, as well as other qualified providers, serve the Gig Harbor area and strive to keep your home comfortable, clean and clear from all unwanted creatures.

Joel would be happy to talk to you about any pest control issues that arise in your home with all the rain arriving this week. Email me at sarah@gigharborhomemanagement.com and I'd be happy to connect the two of you.

And I’d be more than happy to provide a FREE consultation for my Holiday Home Watch Services, available between December 15th and January 15th.  Call me today (253) 225.4864 to book your appointment; limited spaces are available.


Gig Harbor Home Management & Concierge Services, Inc. provides Home Watch & other related Home Management Services for the Gig Harbor area. Sarah Friesen is a local, experienced Home Manager; her Clients regularly testify that she is a trustworthy advocate on their behalf.

Visit www.GigHarborHomeManagement.com for more details. You can also follow her at www.Facebook.com/GigHarborHomeManagement or www.twitter.com/GigHarborHome

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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