I posted a few weeks ago about how to get rid of sugar ants because I was getting a lot of calls and it seemed to me that people could use the advice. Lately, however, I am starting to feel that this might be the worst year for sugar ants that I have ever seen! So, here are a couple of thoughts on sugar ants that I hope will be helpful to you.
Why are they so bad this year?
There are a lot of factors in why they are so bad this year, but primarily it is the weather. We had a very mild winter and are having a warm streak here in early spring. Already, we are seeing ants as bad now as we typically see in May or June. Sugar ants move around more when we have a lot of barometric pressure changes (basically, drastic changes in temperature). We just went from very cold, to quite warm in about a week and what we are seeing is a flushing process where lots and lots of ants are coming out.
An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure...
The longer you wait to treat sugar ants, the harder it is for you or for a pest control company to get them under control. My advice to you is to start treating them now. Even if you don't have an ant problem right now, it might behoove to do a preventative treatment before the weather warms up even more. Preventative pest control treatments are pretty affordable in the Seattle, Washington area. At the very least, you might want to pick up some store bought repellents to spray around your house. These will generally last about a month or so (although the labels on a few somehow make the claim that it lasts for 12 months) and can at least give you a chance to stop ants from getting in.
I already have bad ants, what do I do now?
You might want to read my Squidoo page for some helpful hints, but if you want to just know the basics, here they are:
3- Clean (This step is kind of important, so be sure to do it. Make sure you do not have any food sources laying around and clean behind the fridge and oven for any grease spots. Make sure they do not have any free meals.
4-DON'T use a repellent indoors! Any pest spray product that you buy in the store has some repellent in it and this will cause sugar ants to scatter and reproduce at a greater rate. If you are DIY type, just pick up baits at the store and put the can of Raid down.
5- Wipe the water from your counter and sinks. Just be doing this, you take away one of their major needs (water) and they can sometimes move on. You will have to be very diligent about this and keep a towel handy each time you use the faucet.
6- Don't use citrus based cleaners (orange or lemon) as these can be an attractant.
If you can do all that, you will greatly reduce your need to call me. If you are in the Puget Sound area and you do need to get pest control, let me offer you an affordable solution. We are running a buy one/ get one free ad for pest control treatments through Craigslist. Basically, if your neighbors also have ants, you can both have treatments at the same time for half the price! Click here for pest control coupons.
If you are determined to solve this on your own, I would still be willing to answer your questions. Just email me and we can work out a plan to get these under control. Thanks for reading!