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How to Stop Household Ant Problems

EUGENE, Ore. — Western Oregon homes have been seeing unwanted visitors crawling into their homes, ants.

“It’s a transitional period of time, so that’s what draws them in,” said Richard Kesecker, Good Earth Pest General Manager.

Kesecker calls them multi-queen colonies and they move their nest every three to four weeks. He says there are many things that draw them.

“We are seeing an increase in the odorous house ant activity. It could be a lot of different factors: people composting more, people garden more, grow foods and vegetables,” Kesecker said.

He says all these things can increase soil activity, which get the ants going.

When the ants show up, people do exactly what Kesecker warns them not to do.

“The biggest mistake anybody can do is grab that can of raid, or any materials. I don’t care if it’s a powder or grainial, any insecticides at all is very repellent to this ant,” Kesecker said.

Multi-queen colonies can explode into numerous groups throughout a house, so resorting to the quick spray won’t solve the problem long term.

“If you’ve seen them throughout the years, just one or two, and you’ve always used that can of spray, maybe you’re seeing an increase in other parts of the building, could be because you’ve sprayed through the years,” Kesecker said.

The best way to get rid of the ants is to use a bait.

“Baits are very slow acting that’s the drawback. Nobody likes to wait, but that is the best way to take care of them,” Kesecker said.

Kesecker says the bait is a poison that ants think is food; so they carry it back to feed the colony and over time it’ll slowly kills them off.

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