The invasion has begun and your kitchen could be next.
Changing weather and the impending arrival of spring means that local exterminators have been receiving a lot of calls about ants lately, specifically the large black buggers that seem to be finding their way into everyone’s kitchens.
Michael Beaulieu, assistant vice president of Bain Pest Control Service in Lowell said his business has been getting more calls than usual about ants this year.
“When you have these warm days, even when it’s still winter, we’ll start to get the calls,” he said.
As Paul DiPasquale, owner of Central Mass Pest Control in Fitchburg, explains it, what many people are seeing are either pavement ants or the more common carpenter ant.
“If you’re seeing a lot of them, that would mean they possibly have a small colony that have wintered over and moved into the structure around mid to late fall before it got really cold,” he said.
Recent unseasonably high temperatures, coupled with the given time of year, DiPasquale said are causing many of these ants to venture outside the comfort of their nests. He also warned that having so many ants, possibly enough for a colony, could be an indication that your home might have a faulty roof flashing or leak somewhere.
“I would recommend hiring a professional. We don’t recommend going over the counter because most products you could buy aren’t as safe or reliable,” he said, adding that its best to perform inspections in the spring and fall, in order to ensure a home isn’t prone to infestation.
Beaulieau also advised against homeowners trying to eradicate entire ant colonies on their own, as they typically nest inside walls and getting to them can be difficult. Opening up the area in which they are nesting also creates the possibility of letting them spread to other areas of the house.
Since the ants are attracted to sources of heat and moisture, Beaulieau recommended that cutting back on any possible moisture sources is one good preventative measure for keeping ants out of the house in the future. These sources could include clogged gutters, leaking outdoor water fixtures, stacks of firewood, stumps, or overgrown plants.
Once a colony of ants becomes active, they will typically seek out water, drawing them to sinks, dishwashers, refrigerators, bathtubs, or toilets.
If the ants have gotten old enough to grow wings, it’s a good indicator that a colony of ants has nested in the house.
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