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|PESTWORLD FOR KIDS|
Summertime Sweets: A Magnet for Ants
Summer has begun, the kids are out of school and the pools are open. The weather gets warmer and parents are looking for ways to keep their kids cool, hydrated and happy. Out come the popsicles, Kool-Aid and juice boxes that many parents give their children to ensure they stay well hydrated. But frozen sweets, sugared drinks and juices do more than satisfy a child’s thirst – they attract ants. While home remedies and over-the-counter bait traps might reduce the problem temporarily, it’s important to know when an ant problem can be treated with over-the-counter pesticides and when a pest control professional should be consulted.
The Odorous House Ant is one of many that may require pro help. Odorous House Ants are not easily identified. They are small less than a quarter inch and brown to black in color. Odorous House Ants are common in the United States and can often be found nesting under mulch, leaf litter, rocks, soil or anywhere suitable. Ants that are nesting in soil are identified by a pile of dirt surrounding the ants’ nest.
Odorous House Ants prefer the nectar and liquid secretions of plants, plant-eating invertebrates such as caterpillars and the honeydew produced by aphids. They also like to feed on other insects or any other food they are able to forage.
Odorous House Ants will have a rancid rotten coconut smell when crushed. Disturbing a nest will not cause the ants to sting or bite but they may crawl on you. This is because the colony can contain tens of thousands of workers.
If you suspect you have an ant problem, your local pest control provider can help you. A treatment plan can be established together – allowing you to have an enjoyable and ant-free summer and allowing your little ones to better enjoy their summertime treats.Authored By: Eric Scherzinger